The Sadness and Beauty of Watching Google’s AI Play Go

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — At first, Fan Hui thought the move was rather odd. But then he saw its beauty.“It’s not a human move. I’ve never seen a human play this move,” he says. “So beautiful.” It’s a word he keeps repeating. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. The move in question was the 37th in the second game of the historic Go match between Lee Sedol, one of the world’s top players, and AlphaGo, an artificially intelligent computing system built by researchers at Google. Inside the towering Four Seasons hotel in downtown Seoul, the game was approaching the end of its first hour when AlphaGo instructed its human assistant to place a black stone in a largely open area on the right-hand side of the 19-by-19 grid that defines this ancient game.…


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