YouTube to livestream Google's AI playing Go world champion Lee Sedol

google ai vs go champion version 1457509824 livestream
Google made history when its AlphaGo AI beat a professional player at the ancient Chinese game of Go last month. Not just any player at that, AlphaGo defeated European champion Fan Hui five times in a row.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Google is now pitting its groundbreaking AI against the highest-ranked Go player in the world, Lee Sedol. This time around, it wants you to watch it make history, again, on YouTube. The series of matches, which are scheduled to take place on March 9, 10, 12, 13, and 15 in Seoul, South Korea, will be live-streamed on the official Google DeepMind YouTube channel for the world to watch.

The high-stakes faceoff will net the winner a cool $1 million — but we’re guessing the highest-valued company in the world isn’t in it for the money. Google will likely be hoping the added fanfare from streaming the event online will counter the possibility of any spoilers this time around.

The event was announced by Demis Hassabis, founder and CEO of DeepMind. Hassabis’ company was acquired by Google in 2014 for an estimated $400 million. DeepMind helped build the AlphaGo AI, which relies on neural networks — an AI system that runs inputs through layers of virtual neurons that loosely mimic animal brain function.

Thrilled to officially announce the 5-game challenge match between #AlphaGo and Lee Sedol in Seoul from March 9th-15th for a $1M prize!

— Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) February 4, 2016

Match days: 9, 10, 12, 13, 15 March – will be livestreamed on YouTube. More details soon. We are very excited to be coming to South Korea!

— Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) February 4, 2016

Although it whitewashed its previous professional Go opponent, AlphaGo faces a tougher challenge in the form of Lee Sedol. The 32-year-old holds the second-highest amount of international titles and became the youngest Go player to reach the professional rank of 9-dan at the age of 21. The South Korean also has the home advantage in the high-profile contest.

“This is the first time that a computer has challenged a top human pro in an even game,” Sedol told The Independent last month. “I have heard that Google DeepMind’s AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win, at least this time.”

With its origins dating back over 2,500 years, the ancient Chinese game of Go sees players alternate placing black or white stones on a grid. The goal is to capture the opponent’s pieces or fully surround sections of the board for points. It may sound as simple as Checkers, but the game has 1 x 10^127 possible states. That’s more than the number of atoms in the known universe, and many orders of magnitude more than the number of possible chess positions.

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