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Game, Set, Match: Google Machine Beats Human Go Champion for Third Straight Time

Is it Terminator or our best machine friend?

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For the third time, Google’s computer program AlphaGo has bested a human Go champion at the ancient board game, previously believed to be one of the biggest unsolved challenges for machine learning software in the works at major tech companies like Google and Facebook and Baidu.

On Saturday morning in Seoul, Google’s machine, created by the DeepMind artificial intelligence arm that the search giant acquired back in early 2014, beat Korean Go expert Lee Sedol for the third straight time, clinching the best-of-five series for Google. Google co-founder Sergey Brin flew into Seoul just to watch, according to Wired.

Here’s the victorious tweet from DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis.

So who cares? Well, you should. That’s because the technology inside AlphaGo is already infiltrating Google’s consumer products, doing things like facial recognition inside photos or powering smartphone assistants. Facebook, too, is working on software to beat Go, and it also has a virtual assistant in the works.

Freaked out? You might want to be when you realize how smart these machines are getting now.

Here’s a post from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in January explaining the importance of Go with respect to machine learning advancements.

Update: And here’s another one from Zuckerberg on Saturday congratulating Google on its victory.

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