SEOUL, March 9 (Korea Bizwire) – All eyes are on the Go battle of the century, the showdown of man versus artificial intelligence. With the world watching on in awe, AlphaGo turned in a much better performance than expected, and won the first match of the five-match series. However, amidst news of the victory, new light is being shed on the fact that one of the AlphaGo developers was previously active on a Korean Go site.
The Korean Go site ‘Tygem’ (www.tygem.com) confirmed that user ‘deepmind’ has played 534 games of Go since 2014. ‘Deepmind’ is the name of the Google subsidiary that developed AlphaGo.
Tygem raised the possibility that ‘deepmind’ could have been helped by AlphaGo, Google’s artificial intelligence software that is capable of ‘learning’, and was designed for the sole purpose of playing Go.
The ‘deepmind’ user account was created on April 2, 2014 from England. Starting at a 5 dan ranking, deepmind advanced to 7 dan in 2014. The user had some difficulties in 8 dan matches, but reached the 9 dan level in September 16, 2015. Despite some ups and downs, the user has maintained the 9 dan level since February 2.
Tygem explained that user deepmind is Aja Huang, a 6 dan amateur Go player and developer at Deepmind.
Considering that Aja Huang is at a 6 dan amateur level, pro-Go player Kim Chan-woo suggested that Aja Huang would have played the games between 5 dan and 7 dan. But Kim continued that there is a possibility Aja Huang might have gotten some help. “Without AlphaGo, Huang wouldn’t have been able to achieve those results from the 8 dan matches. At Tygem, 9 dan is a level that even professional Go players have difficulty achieving.”
One thing for sure is that the match between AlphaGo and Lee Se-dol will write an important page in AI history. The world still remembers the victory of Deep Blue, IBM’s chess computer, over Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion in 1997. Experts and industry officials agree that if AlphaGo wins this week’s matches, another door will open to further development of AI.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)