South Korea, China, and Japan Enhance Their AI Go Programs

Jan 02, 2017

Battle of AI (Artificial Intelligence) Go is to take place in 2017 as AlphaGo, which had a battle of century with Lee Se-dol who is a Go player with 9 dan rank, is set to take on more matches. Chinese and Japanese Go industries are developing AI Go programs with support from huge IT businesses and are preparing to challenge AlphaGo. South Korean Go industry is also accelerating its development of AI Go program.
According to Go industry on the 1st, AI Go programs such as Google DeepMind’s ‘AlphaGo’, Tencent’s AI Go program, and Dwango’s ‘Deep Zen GO’ are having Go matches in early 2017. South Korea’s ‘Stone Whirlwind’ is also going to be more advanced during first half of 2017.
The world is going be focused on reappearance of AlphaGo. After having an overwhelming victory over Lee Se-dol last year, DeepMind has been making AlphaGo more advanced by strengthening its Deep Learning and is preparing for Go matches in 2017.
CEO Demis Hassabis of Google DeepMind predicted AlphaGo’s Go matches through his Tweeter. Fan Hui, who is a Go player with 2 dan rank and was a referee during a Go match between Lee Se-dol and AlphaGo, also announced that AlphaGo’s abilities are becoming more advanced and that AlphaGo is going to have more matches in 2017. Ke Jie, who is the world’s number 1 Go player with 9 dan rank, is seen as the likely opponent for AlphaGo and detailed discussions are already taking place.

Record of a Go match between Cho Chi-hoon and Deep Zen GO (Cyber Oro 179 moves, black stone wins by a wide margin) <Record of a Go match between Cho Chi-hoon and Deep Zen GO (Cyber Oro 179 moves, black stone wins by a wide margin)>

AI Go program that was recently developed by Tencent, has also shown its abilities. It is evaluated as a Go program that is comparable to AlphaGo as it beat Go masters from South Korea and China one after the other after appearing in Han-Q, which is Tencent Baduk’s South Korean corporate. Jiang Weijie, who was once the world’s top Go player, was part of these Go masters who were beat by Tencent’s AI Go program and Park Jung-hwan, who is the number 1 Go player in South Korea, was also beat by it. At the end of last year, it was able to beat Japan’s Deep Zen GO in a Go match.
Tencent’s AI Go program is still going through a process of development. It is currently connected to Han-Q so that Tencent can check its level during a development stage. It uses an alias that was made by Tencent so that Tencent can connect it to Han-Q. Go industries predict that when Tencent finishes developing its AI Go program and is ready to have Go matches, it will have best Go abilities.
Dwango is making Deep Zen GO, which is supported by Dwango, more advanced after Deep Zen Go had a Go match with Cho Chi-hoon who is a Go player with 9 dan rank. Deep Zen GO failed to surpass human’s Go level after it lost to Cho Chi-hoon in November of 2016 by 1 to 2. When it lost to Cho Chi-hoon, Go industries saw that it was not able to beat him due to Japan’s Go culture. This indicates that Deep Zen Go has abilities not to be beaten so easily by Cho Chi-hoon.
South Korean Go industry is also making Stone Whirlwind, which fall behind of AI Go programs from China and Japan, more advanced by adding Deep Learning based on Monte Carlo method. Other Go programs such as Dark Forest that was developed by Facebook are going to be more advanced through AI. Global AI Go Programs will be verified of their abilities at World Computer Go Competition that will take in Japan in February.
“Development of AI Go programs are taking place globally.” said Chairman Yang Geon of Korea Go Player Committee. “Go matches between AI Go programs will take place starting from early 2017.”
Staff Reporter Shin, Hyekwon | hkshin@etnews.com

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