Google throws down the gauntlet. But can anyone beat its computer at Go?

Lee Se-Dol, a legendary South Korean player of Go, the board game widely played for centuries in East Asia. He will take on Google’s AI AlphaGo in March. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images Don’t ask Demis Hassabis, the chief executive of Google’s artificial intelligence startup DeepMind, to indulge in mind games before a big competition. “We hope that whatever the result, the power of human ingenuity will be the winner” isn’t the sort of fighting talk that will make an opponent quake in their boots. Hassabis’ DeepMind is preparing for the bout of its life: a five-game match against Lee Se-Dol, one of the strongest players in the world at the ancient game of Go. In October last year, the company’s program AlphaGo already achieved a historic milestone, beating Fan Hui,…


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