Weiming Chen

Oct 21, 2021

3 min read

DeepMind AlphaGo Documentary review.

Today, I watched the 2-hour DeepMind AlphaGo documentary. Astonishing.

The editor Cindy Lee did fantastic work on the editing and drama-style storytelling. I first heard this match-up news years ago. At that time, the news didn’t surprise me much. I (like many others) thought computer programs beating humans wasn’t fresh news. But after today’s watching, I have very complex feelings mixed on the story behind it. It was such a historical and milestone moment in computing / AI history.

First of all, I heart-fully respect the humbleness of Lee Sedol and the DeepMind AlphaGo team. I also admire the stillness of Lee. After three straight losses, which means already lost the series. (3 of 5). I cannot imagine the mental state shift and pressure on Lee. But he wasn’t going to give up. The 4th one, he came up the aka ‘God Move’ — the 78th move. AlphaGo console log showed that particular move was a 0.007% probability, in other words, the AlphaGo algorithm predicted one of a ten thousand (1 of 10000) likelihood its opponent would make that move, or put a human was extremely unlikely to take that move. However, Lee found and decided to take that option. It turned out to be the turning point of the 4th game. It confused AlphaGo. AlphaGo lost that 4th game.

In a high abstract view level of AlphaGo algorithm, it functions based on a kind of Minimax algorithm and layers of layers neural network deep learning of supervised machine learning. It later improvises its own creative and unique strategies that thousands of years of Go players could never think of before or may even consider as ‘silly.’ In other words of machine learning, AlphaGo discovered new patterns of winning rules by supervised learning on past practices, clustered new strategies that Go masters never could imaging before, it was beyond humankind capabilities and wisdom.

AlphaGo also gave me a lesson (I mean, not about the Go game). As human beings, we are always told to do this or that by what and how, accomplish this or that, and follow such a roadmap or that path. As a result, people inevitably fall into conventional. We should be able to be dragged out of the convention, discover, experiment, improvise, and be adaptive. But to be in the flow zone, you surely need to invest dedicated effort in training.

“Be formless, be shapeless.”

Later, Lee Sedol said that although no other people can beat him, there is an entity that he cannot win. Notice that he used the word ‘Entity’ rather than cold words like Machine, Computer, AI, or Program. It encompasses the message that he acknowledges Artificial Intelligence as a real thing, an actual entity rather than just another fancy software. It truly impacts humanity domain, shows his respect for digitalization.

Humanity (perhaps more precisely, Human Intelligence) drives us as human beings to where we are today so far in the world. Without a doubt, Artificial Intelligence will take our world to the next stage, accomplish things beyond human capabilities and capacities. Let’s take analogies as the Internet. Three decades ago, the Internet was rare, unaffordable, ungeneralized. Nowadays, it is so general, ubiquitous, like water and air. So think about years forward since this decade, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning to be well generalized, ubiquitously injected in our world paradigms, it to be invisible but everywhere in people’s domains. Everywhere.

AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) — the following fundamentals.

The “Entity”.

(My review of this documentary: 10/10.

Touching. Shocking. Astonishing. Educational. Smooth Tempo. Thought Provoking. Drama Style. Real.

Excellent machine learning documentary in the market.

Give credit to DeepMind and AlphaGo team, who made such possibilities. (Also, don’t forget Google / Alphabet giant as back yard proving unlimited computing resources and computing powers for DeepMind to conduct supervised training)

Of course, massive respect to Lee Sedol, who pushes the human limit.

At this moment, remind me of Bruce Lee’s quote:

“There are no limits, only plateaus. ”

AI can break human plateaus, drive our world to go beyond the next stage. It can be promising or toxic. What will likely be? You never know.