Wednesday, March 9, 2016

AlphaGo's Confidence

I'm sure those of you who follow this sort of thing know that Google's Go playing AI named AlphaGo beat the highest ranked human player last night.  There are still another four games between the two of them but I came across something in an article that I thought was particularly interesting.

For me, the key moment came when I saw Hassabis passing his iPhone to other Google executives in our VIP room, some three hours into the game. From their smiles, you knew straight away that they were pretty sure they were winning – although the experts providing live public commentary on the match weren’t clear on the matter, and remained confused up to the end of the game just before Lee resigned.
Either AlphaGo has a badly calibrated sense of confidence or it's a lot better at evaluating boards than the people watching are.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the other games turn out and whether AlphaGo's sense of how it's doing turns out to be accurate.

Also, I'm going to try to blog more in smaller chunks.

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