We've issued the following Press Release today (27th January 2016):
A computer program developed by Google DeepMind (AlphaGo) to play the Oriental game of Go has beaten the three-times European Go Champion and Chinese professional Fan Hui (shown on the right in the photo, courtesy of Google DeepMind). This is the first time that a Go-professional has lost such a match, and not only that, by a clean sweep in all 5 games. This signifies a major step forward in one of the great challenges in the development of artificial intelligence - that of game-playing.
These findings were reported in a peer-reviewed study published in the scientific journal Nature: Silver D. et al. Mastering the game of Go with deep neural networks and tree search.
An interesting article from <re/code> by Mark Bergen:
"When the world’s smartest researchers train computers to become smarter, they like to use games. Go, the two-player board game born in China more than two millennia ago, remains the nut that machines still can’t crack.
Enter Google’s nerds. Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence savant behind Google DeepMind, hinted in a video interview that his secretive team has cracked Go."
Reading Go Club player Alexei Likhtman, 44, died yesterday whilst in the USA.
Alexei, a Physics professor at Reading University, was in Baltimore for a conference. On Sunday 11th October he was exploring the Appalachian Trail in Maryland and was taking photographs at a beauty spot called Annapolis Rock. It seems he was jumping from rock to rock with a camera and tripod when at about 10:45 he tripped and fell 50 feet. Despite the efforts of other hikers and paramedics he died at the scene.
Alexei had moved to the UK from Moscow and had been at Leeds University from 1999 to 2007, before moving to Reading. He was a keen member of Reading Go Club when not travelling and had played at Bracknell and Maidenhead Tournaments. He last played a tournament at 9k, though he was still improving quickly.
Photos by Tom Coulthard, Alice Ambrose-Thurman and Chizu Kobayashi
On Saturday 11th October Durham Go Club ran a teaching event at Durham Oriental Museum, as part of their Festival of Japan - celebrating the teaching of Japanese at the University of Durham. The Japanese Embassy kindly sponsored Chizu Kobayashi-san, a 5d Japanese professional, to come to Durham to assist with this.
Kobayashi-san taught a range of people, from some of our stronger club dan players to complete beginners. We had around 20 club members turn out for the event to teach members of the public - most of whom had never come across Go before.
As part of its Festival of Japan, Durham Oriental Museum are running a Go teaching event with Durham Go Club on Saturday 11th October 1pm-5pm. The Japanese Embassy have organised for 5d pro Chizu Kobayashi to come, and the event is free and open to all.
With only 3 weeks to go in the run up to Learn Go Week on Saturday 13th September, this is an update to let you know what is planned in the UK! It also describes the international effort occurring to get more people playing Go/Weiqi this year!
As some of you are already aware, we’ve been looking at the idea of getting involved with 'Learn Go Week', starti
Report by Ben Murphy (edited by Tony Collman)
I attended the Rocket Complex in Holloway Road, London for the first ever combined London Anime and Gaming Convention on Sunday 9th February and quickly set up the table.