To Beat Go Champion, Google’s Program Needed a Human Army

April 4, 2016 George Johnson Nearly 20 years ago, after a chess-playing computer called Deep Blue beat the world grandmaster Garry Kasparov, I wrote an article about why humans would long remain the champions in the game of Go. “It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go — maybe even longer,” Dr. Piet Hut, an astrophysicist and Go enthusiast at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., told me in 1997. “If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs. You don’t have to be a Kasparov.” That was the prevailing wisdom. Last month, after a Google computer program called AlphaGo defeated the Go master Lee Se-dol, I asked Dr. Hut for his…


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