SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean Go players are reacting rather positively to reports of AlphaGo Zero, with high-profile figures like Lee Se-dol expressing excitement and saying the new AI would stimulate young Go players.
Researchers from Google DeepMind, who also invented artificial intelligence-based Go player AlphaGo in 2016, published a research paper on AlphaGo Zero in the scientific academic journal ‘Nature’ on Thursday.
According to the report, AlphaGo Zero is capable of self-learning after having learned the basic rules of Go, differentiating itself from its predecessors including AlphaGo Lee and AlphaGo Master, which defeated Go players Lee Se-dol and Ke Jie, 4-1 and 3-0, respectively.
It has been reported that AlphaGo Zero won 100 out of 100 matches against AlphaGo Lee after self-learning for 72 hours.
When pitted against AlphaGo Master, AlphaGo Zero won 89 out of 100 matches after having simulated 29 million games on its own over a period of 40 days.
In response to the reports, Lee Se-dol, the only human player to date that has won against AlphaGo, said, “The previous version of AlphaGo wasn’t perfect, and I believe that’s why AlphaGo Zero was made.”
On the potential for AlphaGo’s development, Lee said he will have to wait and see but also said it will have an impact on young Go players.
Mok Jin-seok, who directs the South Korean national Go team, said the Go world has already been imitating the playing styles of previous versions of AlphaGo and creating new ideas from them, and he is hopeful that new ideas will come out from AlphaGo Zero.
Mok also added that general trends in the Go world are now being influenced by AlphaGo’s playing style.
“At first, it was hard to understand and I almost felt like I was playing against an alien. However, having had a great amount of experience, I’ve become used to it,” Mok said.
“We are now past the point where we debate the gap between the capability of AlphaGo and humans. It’s now between computers.”
Mok has reportedly already begun analyzing the playing style of AlphaGo Zero along with players from the national team.
“Though having watched only a few matches, we received the impression that AlphaGo Zero plays more like a human than its predecessors,” Mok said.