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Computer Beats Pro At US Go Congress

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the going-going-gone dept.

Programming 496

Bob Hearn writes "I was in attendance at the US Go Congress match yesterday where history was made: the go program MoGo, running on an 800-core supercomputer, beat 8-dan professional go player Myungwan Kim in a 9-stone handicap game. Most in the audience were shocked at the computer's performance; it was naturally assumed that the computer would be slaughtered, as usual. Go is often seen as the last bastion of human superiority over computers in the domain of board games. But if Moore's law continues to hold up, today's result suggests that the days of human superiority may be numbered." Read below for more details in Bob's account of the match.
Computers are still a long way from beating the best human players in an even game; nevertheless, today's performance represents a huge stride forward. In the last such high-profile matchup, in 1997, Janice Kim (then 1-dan professional) beat then-champion program Handtalk with a 25-stone handicap. In fact, most of the improvement in the level of computer-go play has happened in just the past few years. Today's top programs, including MoGo, use a Monte Carlo approach: they simulate thousands of random continuations per second from the current position to the end of the game, accumulating statistics in a tree on which moves lead to wins most often. One of the strengths of this approach is that it is highly amenable to parallelization. Thus, today's 800-core incarnation of MoGo is by far the strongest go computer that has yet existed. After the game Myungwan Kim estimated the strength of MoGo as 'two or maybe three dan,' corresponding to a reasonably strong amateur player. (Professional dan ranks are at a much higher level than amateur dan ranks.)

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big deal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523381)

I'm beat my meat while watching porn on the computer right now.

When are they going to get it? (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523385)

If you need a super computer to run your algorithm and get decent results then your algorithm is shit. AI research doesn't need more tera-flops thrown at dumb search.. it needs better algorithms.

Re:When are they going to get it? (5, Insightful)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523389)

I don't think you understand the complexity of the game if you're making statements like that.

Re:When are they going to get it? (4, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523715)

I don't think you understand the complexity of the game if you're making statements like that.

That's an interesting thing becasue it's starting to look like we aren't solving these sorts of problems in the simplest way possible. A human going flat out is running on 200W maximum. That super computer is probably using 200W per-processor (when you take into account all the addition equipment needed for memory, switching, cooling etc) and not even playing as well as the human. What that says to me is that we probably aren't approaching the problem correctly.

I suspect that we will need to develop a completely different type of hardware in order for machines to be able to perform well at this type of task. Humans are poor at what computers are good at and vice versa and the two take completely different approaches to processing - perhaps that's a hint to look elsewhere.

Re:When are they going to get it? (5, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523805)

The brain has a lot of engineering that puts microchips to shame. If you were to pack transistors as densely and with as little cooling as human neurons, they would melt. On top of this, of course, the amount of processing a neuron can do vastly exceeds that of a transistor. Modeling even a single human brain cell is a major task for a computer.

Furthermore, the connectivity of neurons is much greater than electronic components; each one is connected to thousands of other neurons, nearby an far away, in a way impossible with wires.

A lot of guesses about the equivalent FLOPS of a human brain have centered around naive counting of cells and comparing that with the rather slow switching speed (about 10Hz IIRC). Some estimates came out at about 1 TeraFLOPS but that seems ridiculously small in light of what humans can do that computers still struggle with.

Re:When are they going to get it? (5, Insightful)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523989)

The brain is a fantastic example of a molecular-scale parallel processing machine. The minimum computational unit of the brain isn't really the neuron. Inside a neuron, summing and temprospatial averaging also occur in a local and global (global to the neuron) sense. Comparing a transistor to a neuron is like comparing an apple to the ISS. Sure, they both have a skin that keeps all the goodies inside, but that's about the limit of the similarity.

Re:When are they going to get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523423)

So over time, algorithms automatically get better? Assuming there are algorithms that require the full capacity of a modern computer, those algorithms were shit five years ago?

Maybe it's just the nature of the problem...

Re:When are they going to get it? (3, Informative)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523545)

Go has complexity that is extremely difficult to model with computers, for example: high number of moves per turn, and hard-to-evaluate positions (see Wikipedia for more info [wikipedia.org] ). Chess and Go computers work by trying many moves, and then evaluating the position after that move to see if it is favorable. Better algorithms will be needed to improve position evaluation, certainly, but that is only one part. Massive supercomputers are needed to analyze the great number of possible outcomes from each move.

Re:When are they going to get it? (2, Interesting)

fractic (1178341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523549)

MoGo uses a Monte Carlo approach. Basically it keeps playing random games to see which give the best results. Faster computers mean more random games can be played thus given better results.

Re:When are they going to get it? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523705)

But on it's own, that's very naive. A chess computer using this method would, for example, consider moving the Queen to a position where it can be immediately taken, and then try several hundred scenarios based on that to see if it leads to a win. It's possible that this would win but most unlikely. The AI would assign this action a low score and try higher scoring methods first.

A good go AI should be able to tell what are good boards and what are bad boards rather than randomly sampling a subset of them.

And it probably does this. The Monte Carlo method is probably just a very brief explanation of what the researchers feel si the key mechanic.

Re:When are they going to get it? (4, Informative)

fractic (1178341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523801)

What I posted first is just a simplification of course. Here is the algorithm in more detail. From a given position it will play thousands if not millions of games to determine which move gets the best winning percentage. This is how these games are played When you are at a node in the game tree and want to decide which move you will make next you first calculate a score for each possible move. Unexplored moves get a score based on a heuristic. moves that we have tried before get a score based on the number of times we have tried it and the winning percentage. The higher the winning percentage the higher the score, but the higher the number of times we have tried it the lower the score. This results in searching down the path with the best winning percentage most of the time. But there is still searching going on in the less good paths. See here [xmp.net] and here [xmp.net] for more details.

Re:When are they going to get it? (3, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523979)

A good go AI should be able to tell what are good boards and what are bad boards rather than randomly sampling a subset of them.

A good Go method is one that wins - not (necessarily) one that wins the way you would play.

Re:When are they going to get it? (4, Interesting)

Urkki (668283) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523577)

Read a bit on Go algorithms. This one isn't using a dumb search. If it were, the Go program playing this good wouldn't be finished calculating it first move yet... No, this one must have used an extremely advanced search algorithm, very smartly removing unlikely branches of the search.

Unfortunately we're stuck with algorithmically searching for the right move until we have sufficiently large quantum computers, that they can run a go algorithm and do it all at once. This may be impossible in our current universe, due to practical limitations caused by laws of physics (just like building a space elevator on Jupiter may be impossible due to practical limitations of physically possible materials in our universe).

Re:When are they going to get it? (1)

wwalker98 (601563) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523615)

OTOH, our brain is massively parallel, albeit in a different fashion.
-- Walker's Law (2008) "Just because you read it on the Internet, doesn't mean it's wrong."

Re:When are they going to get it? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523627)

Yeah because there's nothing massively parallel about biological intelligence...

Re:When are they going to get it? (0, Redundant)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523633)

Word.

Re:When are they going to get it? (1)

razorh (853659) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523651)

The thing that makes the super computer a super computer is the 800 cores, which means it lends itself well to parallelism (as tfa mentions). Why does the human brain work better? One reason is that is MASSIVELY parallel by comparison. Think beowulf cluster of a billion 286's. Saying you need a better algorithm isn't really fair since the human brain already outclasses a mere 800 processors.

Re:When are they going to get it? (4, Insightful)

igomaniac (409731) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523749)

Less than a hundred years ago scientists believed the brain worked a bit like a mechanical device and analogies were made to levers, cogs etc. The brain has always been likened to the most advanced piece of technology available at the time, and it's always turned out that it's way more advanced. I see no reason why that shouldn't be the case with all the silly computer analogies people come up with these days...

Beating nerds at their own game? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523393)

That's impossible! Even for a computer!

Re:Beating nerds at their own game? (5, Insightful)

Rah'Dick (976472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523481)

No, it's not - the computer is running an algorithm designed by at least one nerd. By designing that algorithm, not the computer, but the programmer beat the other player, by using his intelligence for writing a program that plays for him.

As long as computers cannot think for themselves, no computer will beat a human player, but a human-designed algorithm will. Humans beat humans (using technology).

Re:Beating nerds at their own game? (4, Insightful)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523921)

Up until you use genetic programming to design the algorithm that wins.

Unless you believe that the creator of the human race is 100% responsible for all human action, of course.

Re:Beating nerds at their own game? (1)

Alistair Hutton (889794) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523991)

Someone needs to define the GP language and fitness function. I'm sorry to say that it's turtles all the way down on this one.

Moore's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523395)

FTS: "But if Moore's law continues to hold up, today's result suggests that the days of human superiority may be numbered."

Can someone explain to me why the computer's speed matters? Couldn't it just take longer to perform the same logical operations and end up doing the same moves it did in this game to win?

It almost seems like they mentioned "Moore's law" ... just for the sake of mentioning it.

Re:Moore's Law (4, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523491)

Tournament go generally has a game clock.

Re:Moore's Law (5, Informative)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523493)

In a Monte Carlo algorithm, more processing power is equivalent to simulating more possible outcomes. Assuming you have a good scoring model for evaluating the relative strengths of the outcomes, more power is more "skill".

Re:Moore's Law (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523525)

Yes and no. (yes i hate that phrase too) If the computer was given more time it wouldn't matter, BUT a professional Go game is almost always played with a clock, sort of like chess.

Re:Moore's Law (5, Informative)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523557)

Go is an open game; you have few rules and a lot (that is, A LOT) of possibilities for each move.

That means that predicting moves raises exponentially the more steps you try to predict. In this case, MoGo used borrowed power from some supercomputer and a network to distribute the effort sufficiently, so that the game would be played in a humanly-reasonable time (if I understood correctly).

Moore's law states that computing capabilities grow exponentially also (though probably much slower than the growth in possibilities, required with each subsequent predicted step in the MoGo algorithm).

In this context, it would be reasonable to consider that there will come a time when a supercomputer (by future standards) will not be necessary to generate the same amount of effort.

I don't think he mentioned Moore's law just for the sake of it.

Re:Moore's Law (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523681)

So, in other words...he was beat with a Beowulf cluster of those!

Re:Moore's Law (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523597)

It's about exponential growth. Computers today are about 150 times as fast as they were in 1997. Assuming we're matching Moores law, for every second this machine would have taken, the previous champion mentioned would take 2½ minutes. If you give it an hour per move, the old machine would have taken over 6 days to think about it.

You can't realistically play a game with that sort of lag.

Re:Moore's Law (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523721)

Explain the popularity of play by e-mail, back in the days before constant internet connections were practical, then?

Re:Moore's Law (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523751)

Like in chess, tournament players in Go are allowed only so much time in a game (not on a per turn basis, but on a per game basis). So, yes, a slower computer could just continue to think and think, but runs the risk of running out of playing time before the game is finished (a forfeit).

Computers that play chess, go, and similar games can't hope to make the best possible move during each turn - there isn't nearly enough time to run through all possible combinations. Instead, they run through many possible moves, propagating it through many additional turns, and eventually pick the best move from that subset that they have considered. Getting the computer to decide on a good move in a reasonable amount of time is a tricky part of tuning the algorithm.

A faster computer, suggested by Moore's Law, would be able to run more iterations or branches of the algorithm per second, which suggests it will be able to come up with better moves that it would otherwise not have time to think up.

Computer Beats Pro at a go for US Congress? (5, Funny)

metamechanical (545566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523401)

If only the summary had actually been what I read it as. I think we need more computers in Congress.

Re:Computer Beats Pro at a go for US Congress? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523683)

What, you mean more Senators and Representatives who don't really think and just sputter out what someone was paid to tell them to say? I think we have enough of those already. ;-)

Skynet yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523407)

The guy might have had a bad day. Let's wait until it regularly beats 8 dans.

about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523411)

It's about time some computer beat those fatcats in Congress!

ignorance (0, Redundant)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523427)

Go is often seen as the last bastion of human superiority over computers in the domain of board games.

That's just plain ignorance. Games usually employ a discrete set of rules and a discrete playing environment. If there is something a computer is good at it would be working with things like this.

Re:ignorance (1)

The New Andy (873493) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523543)

I believe that is what the "in the domain of board games" bit meant.

Re:ignorance (4, Insightful)

Filip22012005 (852281) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523555)

Go is often seen as the last bastion of human superiority over computers in the domain of board games.

That's just plain ignorance. Games usually employ a discrete set of rules and a discrete playing environment. If there is something a computer is good at it would be working with things like this.

You're right, and that's exactly what the text says. In the domain of games, computers do failry well, except for Go. Go's the last bastion of human superiority in that domain.

Re:ignorance (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523561)

I believe your statement just supported the submitter's statement. Hardly anything "ignorant" about it.

Re:ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523599)

Go is often seen as the last bastion of human superiority over computers in the domain of board games.

That's just plain ignorance. Games usually employ a discrete set of rules and a discrete playing environment. If there is something a computer is good at it would be working with things like this.

This is exactly why go is used as a benchmark. Go is one of the last games where human intelligence is still superior to raw computation.

Re:ignorance (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523603)

Well, the problem is that Go is so complex and the number of possible games is magnitudes more than chess that it has nothing to do with a computer being not good at it, just having a computer that can play the game reasonably fast and intelligently enough. An 800 core computer will assist with that.

Re:ignorance (4, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523609)

I think the real ignorance here is your ignorance of Go. Go is a game in which the difference between a "good" and "bad" position has to be judged intuitively and, dare I say, artistically. It is not really comparable to mathematically reducible games like Mancala, Chess, Backgammon, Draughts/Checkers, etc., because of the level of pattern recognition required just to understand what is going on and to recognize a pattern developing early on when there may be just one or two stones going in that direction.

In the words of the novel Shibumi, "Go is to chess as philosophy is to double-entry accounting."

Trying to teach a computer to play Go has, up to this point, been about like trying to teach a computer how to evaluate a painting. And, judging by the computing resources required, it sounds like all they did here was brute-force it, so they really haven't "taught" the computer anything.

Re:ignorance (2, Interesting)

fractic (1178341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523673)

It is not really comparable to mathematically reducible games like Mancala, Chess, Backgammon, Draughts/Checkers, etc.,

Huh? What are you talking about? Go is much more 'mathematical' then chess or backgammon. It's one of the best examples of combinatorial game theory [xmp.net] .

Re:ignorance (4, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523853)

Its mathematical in the same way the weather is mathematical - there is certainly amount of maths that can be done in regard to it, but it won't give in to brute force computation because its just too complex.

If you don't believe me, try and write a Go playing program that plays better than a 6 year old. I did attempt this as part of my AI degree, and it is was one of the hardest things I ever attempted. To think, when I began the project I couldn't understand why my supervisor was laughing at me...

Re:ignorance (3, Insightful)

fractic (1178341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523913)

I do know that writing a go AI isn't easy, and brute force is definitely not the way to go. But what does that have to do with go being mathematical or not? Go has many beautiful mathematical properties.

Re:ignorance (2, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523959)

You're missing the "reducible" which was the crux of his point.

Re:ignorance (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523871)

I think he was trying to say that he likes Go.

Re:ignorance (2, Interesting)

felonius maximus (601940) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523657)

Care to clarify what you mean by "ignorance", El M?

There are good reasons why Go has proven difficult for dirty rob'ts to deal with. Go does employ a discrete set of rules, but the increasing complexity of the Go board as the game progresses has given humans the edge until now. CBF going into all the nitty gritty, but here's a primer for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Go [wikipedia.org]

P.S. I'm shit at Go, but rob'ts aren't real good either (mostly).

Re:ignorance (2, Interesting)

Aristos Mazer (181252) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523665)

No, it isn't ignorance. The whole point is that Go should be trivial for computers given everything we know about symbolic logic, but for decades Go has resisted any and all attempts to make it playable by computers. There is something that the human mind is doing that we have been unable to encode in symbolic logic, something that arises from the very simple four rules of Go.

You said that computers ought to be good at this. True. But they aren't. That's significant, and is the reason why AI research has worked hard on Go -- it clearly highlights a difference between the human mind and the computer. What difference? We don't know yet. Perhaps we're just doing Monte Carlo deep searches in extreme parallel, like MoGo. Perhaps there is something more human.

Breaking News (4, Insightful)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523429)

Breaking News: Snail is faster than cheetah encased in 200 pound lead handicap

Re:Breaking News (1)

Aristos Mazer (181252) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523697)

Your analogy is flawed. Try this:
Breaking news: snail successfully beats cheetah after cheetah is chained to 200-pound lead ball. 5 years ago, snail consistently *lost* to cheetah chained to 600-pound lead ball. We've come a long way, baby.

about:robots (-1, Redundant)

R4nm4-kun (1302737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523431)

I for one welcome our new 800-core computer overlords

Re:about:robots (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523655)

Well... only if our military has a 9-stone handicap.

Who cares about 9x9? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523441)

So, basically a 9x9 game is bruteforce-able with a supercomputer. However, all professional games happen at 19x19 boards. Good luck in bruteforcing that.

Re:Who cares about 9x9? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523527)

'scuse me wtf are you talking about a "9x9" game? Can't you read?

Shit, i must be new here

Re:Who cares about 9x9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523881)

There is a varient of Go played on a 9x9 board. It's used to teach beginners or to fit a quick game in during a coffee break or just if you want to play a few games quickly.

The more you know...

Re:Who cares about 9x9? (2, Funny)

szo (7842) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523563)

It was not mentioned it was a 9x9 game...

Re:Who cares about 9x9? (4, Informative)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523569)

I think you misread the 9 stone handicap as meaning 9x9 board... if you just open the article you immediately see a picture of a 19x19 board. And have you ever played a 9 stone handicap on a 9x9 game and lost ? :-)

Re:Who cares about 9x9? (1)

splug (992725) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523919)

Have you ever played a 24 stone handicap on a 19x19 board and lost?

Holy esoteric, Batman (1)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523451)

Maybe I'm not the nerd I think I am, but I've never so much as heard of Go before reading the summary. Though I am atleast sure the flood of oblig. about Beowulf and running Linux are already being typed.

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523573)

>>Maybe I'm not the nerd I think I am, but I've never so much as heard of Go before reading the summary.

Egads...such ignorance.Hand in your nerd card immediately...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(board_game) [wikipedia.org]

Probably one of the most ancient and most common games played on the planet...sheesh...

You need to get out more, obviously just a chess player (considerably less complex than go, BTW, hence computers beat chess players years ago...go is considerably more difficult...)
Oh, heck, just do some research! :-)

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523641)

obviously just a chess player (considerably less complex than go, BTW, hence computers beat chess players years ago

Depends on how you look at it. Chess is far more complex in terms of rules, but you can learn Go in a matter of minutes.

Go admittedly has many more possible games. But what is amazing is the level of complexity from such a simple rule system. I have played maybe a dozen games, so am not an expert by any stretch. But the game has a level of beauty to it that chess does not.

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (4, Funny)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523677)

Maybe I'm not the nerd I think I am, but I've never so much as heard of Go before reading the summary

How about "computers"?

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523701)

You should try it, its quite fascinating and challenging. You will find though that the game, while simple in rule structure, is very complex and is a unique blend of local tactics and global strategy that can be best described as sublime.

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523835)

Sublime... and immensely frustrating! There's nothing quite like building a nice, long dragon, searching for eyespace, only to get hemmed in on all sides and finally destroyed...

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523891)

move fast! attack and defend with each stone! grabs base and eyes first!

at best i only got to 10kyu myself before i left my real life friends behind. its really hard to stay interested in the game when there is no real personal rivalry to push you.

it is amazing what having someone you know personally talk smack to you can do for your ability to play.

Re:Holy esoteric, Batman (3, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523933)

Agreed, I think it is a particularly good game for hardcore computer nerds and mathematicians, because it forces you out of human calculator mode and makes you engage your atrophied right brain for a change.

There is a tendency for people of our type to get lost in our desire to quantify, optimise and engineer stuff to death, and Go helps us appreciate a problem that defies such simplification, and must be dealt with in its full chaotic beauty or not at all.

Moore's Law (3, Interesting)

jonastullus (530101) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523459)

Even if Moore's law were to continue (which I seriously doubt), the combinatorics of Go is rising drastically faster than doubling transistors/performance every 18 months could hope to cope with.

Calculating the next N possible moves (no matter how smartly you cut-off) is simply not the answer in Go, IMHO. Seeing how ladders and other "inevitable" developments can go on for dozens of moves makes a look-ahead impractical.

I haven't read TFA, but in the long run beating higher dan level players will require recognition of strategic constellations and differentiating them from mere clusters of stones.

I read the title... (2, Funny)

Gigiya (1022729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523473)

...and thought a "computer beats" professional walked in on a filibuster, or something. Then my imagined hilarity was confused by the notice of "go", then I was just disappointed when I realized that a computer literate individual was not actually in Congress.

Re:I read the title... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523687)

I don't think Ted "Tubes" Stevens plays Go.

Re:I read the title... (1)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523867)

Well we did have Sen. Ted Stevens. He was the one guy in the whole place who wa-- ok well he at least pretended to be computer literate.

misleading title (5, Insightful)

yepster (1050284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523475)

Considering the 9 stone handicap, maybe we'll have to wait yet a few years before actually seeing what the title implies ...

Re:misleading title (5, Informative)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523693)

It says in the article they've gone down 9 stones in the last year, so they may likely shed the rest of the handicap in another. That's why Moore's law was mentioned in the summary...

Bob (5, Funny)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523503)

Read below for more details in Bob's account of the match.

Bob's account of the match:

The guy placed a stone, and we were like 'Whoa!', and then the computer placed a stone, and I was like 'No way!', and then the guy placed another stone, and the crowd was all 'Oh! WOW!' and they continued to take alternating turns like that.

It was Go-riffic!

Go the last bastion? Hardly (3, Interesting)

Asmor (775910) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523505)

Somebody wake me up when a computer can reliably beat a human at Candy Land.

Re:Go the last bastion? Hardly (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523653)

Or at the jumping rope...

creators whipping unprecedented evile... again...& (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523509)

again. we could get to watch it, as it is now occurring in an atmosphere near you. fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece
 

I for one... (-1, Redundant)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523517)

...welcome our robot, Go playing, overlords!

Re:I for one... (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523821)

Blast it all you beat me to it!

800-Core? (4, Insightful)

Slippery Pete (941650) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523533)

Just out of curiosity, doesn't this seem like overkill? If you require such a massive amount of computing power, it seems you would take away from any decent AI algorithms and just do brute force computing.

Re:800-Core? (1)

utnapistim (931738) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523605)

Deep Blue [wikipedia.org] (the computer playing chess with Kasparov) was the same: custom made hardware and a lot of computing power, used exclusively for this.

Re:800-Core? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523637)

Having such an absurdly powerful machine let's you do *anything* with your program. It's useful for testing and thinking about theory if you can largely ignore the "processing power" variable.

Ease (5, Interesting)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523593)

That's the thing that's always fascinated me about Go. It is essentially an extremely simple game gone terribly, terribly wrong. It's got about as many rules as Yahtzee, but is played on a 19x19 board. Compare that to Chess which has a pretty large (8x8) board, but has far more rules.

I'm no expert on computer game programming, but I think that's where some of the difficulty comes into play when building these guys. Chess has a nearly unlimited number of outcomes, however having those sets of rules helps. For example, of the 32 pieces, 16 of them are essentially limited to one space in front of them. In Go, however, the lack of rules means that you're left with the simple mathematical monstrosity of an enormous board.

The book The Immortal Game [amazon.com] , aside from being an excellent read, goes into depth about computer programs playing chess, as well as Go and Checkers.

Re:Ease (5, Interesting)

fractic (1178341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523731)

In chess you also have the advantage of being able to make an endgame database for your program. Chess positions only get simpler as the game progresses because pieces are removed. In Go this doesn't happen. An endgame database is simply impossible.

Machines superior to Humans? Yeah right! (1)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523607)

Humans will always be better adapted to survive an electromagnetic pulse.

Re:Machines superior to Humans? Yeah right! (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523733)

Humans will always be better adapted to survive an electromagnetic pulse.

And cockroaches will always be better adapted to survive radioactive fallout, so I think the humble cockroach is superior to both humans and supercomputers.

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

Re:Machines superior to Humans? Yeah right! (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523869)

When was the last time insecticide took out a supercomputer?

I'm going to have to say this is a classic case of Rock-Paper-Scissors.

9-stone-handycap means what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523619)

Doesn't that mean that the computer had a nine stone advantage right from the start?

How would a computer do against a human at regular chess, with three extra moves for the human?

Re:9-stone-handycap means what? (4, Informative)

Aristos Mazer (181252) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523769)

The comparison isn't viable. In chess, a three move head start completely changes the tactical nature of the game. In three moves, a bishop could put the king into a position where it has to capture to get out of check, and now he cannot castle and the whole game falls apart. Go doesn't substantially change its tactical nature by allowing the black player to play initial stones, just makes white's job harder (black always plays first in Go and is always played by whichever opponent is believed to be the weaker player).

The big news here is that 5 years ago, no computer could take on a pro with a *25* stone handicap. That's huge progress.

Re:9-stone-handycap means what? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523839)

Yes. Computers have always been rubbish at Go. This one amazed everyone by being quite reasonable.

Moore's Law? Irrelevant (4, Insightful)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523667)

Having a greater number of transistors on a chip does not make a processor "smarter" or capable of doing something a less populated processor can. It only gives it the potential to be much faster (and consume more power). The real story here is that a person or group of programmers have designed a better algorithm for playing the game. This is a human achievement, not a machine one.

Perhaps a little more exposition on this "game?" (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523675)

Computer Beats Pro At US Go Congress

I know those words, but in that context they make no sense.

Oh, for Christ sake... (5, Insightful)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523709)

...just like what happened with Kasparov, the headline is completely backwards.

How about this one: Computer needed 800 processors, at 4.7 Ghz, 15 Teraflops to beat a professional Go player.

We're talking about a computer needing gargantuan processing power to beat a human and we are impressed at the computer? Seriously?

If I am to be impressed by something, it's definitely by this Myungwan Kim guy.

Re:Oh, for Christ sake... (1)

liquiddark (719647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523909)

Computer beating human is new. Human beating computer is not new.

what is this game? (0)

Sophia Ricci (1337419) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523775)

Apologies for my ignorance, can anybody help me understand what is this game and how it is played?

Still some way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24523855)

Though this may be a big step forward, computers still have a very long way to go before matching humans at Go. To use a chess analogy, this result it like a computer beating a Grandmaster with rook odds, when computers have been losing games with queen and rook odds. Or to use a chess rating analogy, previous computers were 1400 strength while this one played at 2000 strength (2700 strength being top 15 in the world).

PAY ATTENTION: Go is not like other games... (4, Informative)

frankie (91710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523857)

The difference between Go and other games you may know where computers have surpassed the best human players is the immensity of the search space. On a standard 19x19 board there are 381 spaces, all of which are in play at every move, often including spaces currently occupied but not yet safe from capture. Therefore, within a handful of plies a computer player may be looking at trillions of possible branches. Go is NUMEROUS orders of magnitude more complex than chess from an algorithmic viewpoint.

p.s. Those of you saying "Go what?" are merely revealing your own ignorance. There are at least as many Go players in the world as chess; most of them are in Asia.

all we're proving... (1)

notgm (1069012) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523927)

all we're proving is that any problem can be solved with a sufficiently complex algorithm. wow, we can digitize things with more detail as we provide more processing power, surprise surprise.

By the way... (0)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523953)

...I wonder if the people who develop these chess and go algorithms ever considered a "training first" approach: taking some days to train a huge decision tree or something like that and store it in a shitload of memory. The results would be worse, but the computer would then be able to to each move in constant time. It would be interesting to put of those against a professional in a time-limit game.

SGF file? (1)

humpolec (1095783) | more than 6 years ago | (#24523995)

Is this game available to download anywhere?
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