Remember when DeepMind’s AlphaGo program beat the a bunch of the world’s top Go players, and was then made to quit while it was ahead? Well, China’s Tencent recently decided to give its own AI program a shot at the 3,000 year old game.
Tencent’s AI, known as the Fine Art program, made its mark in history when it became the second AI program to beat the Ke Jie, both China’s and the world’s top Go player. This was achieved despite Tencent giving Jie a significant head start in the game.“Fine Art is yet more proof of the stunning progress China has made in AI technology,” Greg Allen, an adjunct fellow at the Center for New American Security, commented on Fine Art.
For China, Fine Art’s victory against a top human Go player isn’t just a matter of national pride; it’s also a show of power towards the U.S. and Alphabet, of whom they realised were miles ahead in the development of a technology that had a broad application in both commercial and military fields.
As for Jie, he’s clearly not satisfied having been beat by an AI (twice now). That said, the man still has a few more AI programs to compete against this year, including the likes of Japan’s DeepZenGo, Taiwan’s own CGI, along with several AI programs from other countries. Who knows? Maybe he’ll actually manage to score a victory against one of the programs.