SEOUL, South Korea — Computer, one. Human, zero.
A Google computer program stunned one of the world’s top players on Wednesday in a round of Go, which is believed to be the most complex board game ever created.
The match — between Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo and the South Korean Go master Lee Se-dol — was viewed as an important test of how far research into artificial intelligence has come in its quest to create machines smarter than humans.
“I am very surprised because I have never thought I would lose,” Mr. Lee said at a news conference in Seoul. “I didn’t know that AlphaGo would play such a perfect Go.”
Mr. Lee acknowledged defeat after three and a half hours of play.
Demis Hassabis, the founder and chief executive of Google’s artificial intelligence team DeepMind, the creator of AlphaGo, called the program’s victory a “historic moment.”
The match, the first of five scheduled through Tuesday, took place at a Seoul hotel amid intense news media attention. Hundreds of reporters, many of them from China, Japan and South Korea, where Go has been played for centuries, were there to cover it. Tens of thousands of people watched the contest live on YouTube.
Read more at the New York Times.