AlphaGo The Movie - Who Is The Hero?
AlphaGo The Movie - Who Is The Hero?
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 15 October 2017

A movie about a program that beats a human at a game? Probably not what you might expect, but AlphaGo is a movie about man versus machine and in this case the machine wins.

alphagosq

This is a movie that will say a lot about how you think and what you know. It tells the story of the defeat of Lee Sedol, a world leading player of Go. If you are interested in AI you will already know the story. 

Plucky new comer to the AI field DeepMind thought that it could do what no one else had - create a program that would play the very difficult and subtle game of Go better than any human. Go is very hard to even start to attack because it is a game of spatial reasoning and strategy. By comparison chess is easy, for AI to tackle that is.

After five games, and against every expert's expectations, the score was AlphaGo 4 : Lee Sedol 1. It didn't really matter that the machine lost one game, the point was proved. 

Only this isn't the story that the film tells. Instead it focuses on the defeat of humanity, or more exactly a single man, but we all know that one small defeat for man is a giant defeat for mankind. The film synopsis reads:

"With​ ​more​ ​board​ ​configurations​ ​than​ ​there​ ​are​ ​atoms​ ​in​ ​the​ ​universe,​ ​the​ ​ancient​ ​Chinese  game​ ​of​ ​‘Go’​ ​​ ​has​ ​long​ ​been​ ​considered​ ​a​ ​grand​ ​challenge​ ​for​ ​artificial​ ​intelligence.​​ ​​On​ ​March​ ​9  2016,​ ​the​ ​worlds​ ​of​ ​Go​ ​and​ ​artificial​ ​intelligence​ ​collided​ ​in​ ​South​ ​Korea​ ​for​ ​an​ ​extraordinary  best-of-five-game​ ​competition,​ ​coined​ ​The​ ​Google​ ​DeepMind​ ​Challenge​ ​Match.​ ​Hundreds​ ​of  millions​ ​of​ ​people​ ​around​ ​the​ ​world​ ​watched​ ​as​ ​a​ ​legendary​ ​Go​ ​master​ ​took​ ​on​ ​an​ ​unproven​ ​AI  challenger​ ​for​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​in​ ​history.   

Directed​ ​by​ ​Greg​ ​Kohs​ ​with​ ​an​ ​original​ ​score​ ​by​ ​Academy​ ​Award​ ​nominee,​ ​Hauschka,​ ​AlphaGo  chronicles​ ​a​ ​journey​ ​from​ ​the​ ​halls​ ​of​ ​Oxford,​ ​through​ ​the​ ​backstreets​ ​of​ ​Bordeaux,​ ​past​ ​the  coding​ ​terminals​ ​of​ ​DeepMind​ ​in​ ​London,​ ​and,​ ​ultimately,​ ​to​ ​the​ ​seven-day​ ​tournament​ ​in  Seoul.​ ​As​ ​the​ ​drama​ ​unfolds,​ ​more​ ​questions​ ​emerge:​ ​What​ ​can​ ​artificial​ ​intelligence​ ​reveal  about​ ​a​ ​3000-year-old​ ​game?​ ​What​ ​can​ ​it​ ​teach​ ​us​ ​about​ ​humanity?"

 Take a look at the official trailer:

 

The film ends with the question of what is next for AlphaGo?

The answer is that as a mystery player in online contests with the assumed names Master and Magister, it took on the top professional Go players, one by one and emerged victorious on each occasion. It then beat the world’s number one player, Ke Jie, at the Future of Go Summit in China in match which it won 3:0. It also proved an unassailable match for humans on other Go formats, such as Pair Go. However, all the human players involved concluded that the game of Go benefited from AlphaGo's involvement with this comment from Gu Li summing up the reaction of professionals who had encountered the machine:

“AlphaGo’s self play games are incredible - we can learn many things from them.”

The summit in China also marked the end of AlphaGo's career. DeepMind is officially no longer working on AlphaGo - preferring to develop programs that might be commercially profitable. 

Is this the moment we will remember as the one that AI finally exceeded human abilities?

Almost certainly not but it is a good movie and I wish there were more like it.

It is being screened around the world. See the movie's web site for details.

teamgo

More Information

https://www.alphagomovie.com/

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