Former World Champion of the game 'Go' retires due to invincibility of AI opponents
Lee will have one last match with an AI opponent before retiring in December.
November 29, 2019 / 05:25 PM IST
In 2019, Artificial Intelligence has been at the forefront of innovation in technology. AI’s influence has also spread to strategy games, with the AI systems being able to beat professional players. AI’s dominance in competitive strategy games recently led to Lee Se-Dol retiring at 36.
Lee is South Korea’s top Go player and a world champion in the strategy game. He told Yonhap News Agency that he would no longer play Go professionally because AI is impossible to overcome. During the interview, Lee said; “With the debut of AI in Go games, I’ve realised that I’m not at the top even if I become the number one through frantic efforts. Even if I become the number one, there is an entity that cannot be defeated.”
In 2016, Lee lost four out of five times against AlphaGo, an AI system developed by Google-owned DeepMind. The match-up proved to be significant for the game and AI in general. Go is considered as a highly complex board game, dating back over 2,500 years. AlphaGo’s victory shined a spotlight on the improvements and advancements in AI tech.
Since 2016, DeepMind has significantly improved its program. The latest iteration of AlphaGo was able to beat its 2016 predecessor 100 times in a row. Lee will have one last match with an AI opponent before retiring in December. This time, Lee will go up against an AI system developed in South Korea named HanDol, which has already gotten the better of the country’s top five players. Lee told Yonhap, “Even with a two-stone advantage, I feel like I will lose the first game to HanDol.”
Earlier this year, AI also made its presence felt in E-sports when OpenAI’s team beat world champions OG 2-0 in DOTA 2, a multiplayer online battle arena video game. Despite victories against several professional teams behind closed doors, this was the first win for the Five-player AI team in public.