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AlphaGo (2017)AlphaGo (2017)

The three thousand year-old Chinese game called "Go" is the world's oldest continually played board game. It's simple enough that school children all over Asia play it, and attend after school clubs to become better. But Go can also be played at a deeply complex and even contemplative level — there are more potential board configurations in a game of Go than there are atoms in the universe. And so for about twenty years now, beating Go has been the holy grail of the artificial intelligence and machine learning communities. This 90-minute documentary tells the story of a five-game competition in March of 2016 between Korea's Lee Sedol (18 Go world titles) and a computer program called AlphaGo that was created by a Google-sponsored company in London called DeepMind. Some 200 million people worldwide watched the 2016 match in Seoul (about twice the Super Bowl audience), where it was front page news. The event was a breakthrough for the AI community, and a fascinating exploration of the nature of human intelligence. The movie doesn't include the fact that AlphaGo was followed by three more powerful AI successors that won subsequent matches against top human players. I watched this film on Netflix Streaming.

Dan Clendenin:

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