Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lee Sedol the come back kid!

Lee Sedol: Last Hope for Humanity

So sure Lee Sedol did not win best out of 5, but today, he scored one for humanity by brilliantly defeating Alpha Go, forcing the computer to resign after 180 moves.  The game was a nail biter in the end.  Alpha Go had a commanding lead in the opening, and it looked like it was going to just be a repeat of the third game, but Lee Sedol broke Alpha Go's programming with a brilliant middle game play that defied imagination.  By playing Alpha Go, perhaps Lee Sedol himself has risen in skill. This game we saw a side of the player that we all know and love.

Shoulder Hit of Death
Here is where I originally thought it would be the beginning of the end.  Alpha Go seems to prioritize the center in the opening, which already might shake up a bit of how professionals will play in the future.  I personally think Alpha Go just has a better way of calculating how much center stones will be worth in the future.  Lee Sedol took a lot of territory in the beginning, but Black looked like globally he would be the victor.

White seriously looks like he's in deep trouble.  Black's territorial framework in the middle is deep.  All of his investment at the top looks to be lost, and although White on the right side is big, it could be reduced heavily later.  I was nearly 100% confident that we'd be seeing Alpha Go go 4-0 into the next game, but Lee Sedol proved that honestly, he was the best candidate to test Alpha Go.

For those of you who do not play Go, I want you to understand one thing: This is not a move that normal people think of.  I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.  White MUST find a way to invade or reduce Black's middle territorial framework, or the game WILL be lost.  Black has tiny weaknesses scattered throughout the area, and Lee Sedol found a way to tie them ALL together for his own advantage.  Lee Sedol sees possibilities within the shapes that other players may miss.  

It's gone.  All of it.  Lee sent in his army to ransack Black's area and he destroyed upwards of 40 points.  Through one display of brilliance he brought down the hammer and tipped the scales ever so slightly in his favor.  

This game shows that human intuition and reasoning ability is still an awesome thing.  For a brief moment, Lee Sedol transcended a computer with impressive processing power and the ability to effortlessly sift through trees and trees of different variations, all while calculating the outcome of success.  In the end, Lee Sedol vanquished the metallic monstrosity to bring hope to humanity once again.  So just for today, we fight off the machines for just one more day: