I, ROBOT

Google AI Beats Board Game World Champ

Google’s AlphaGo, an artificial-intelligence program, has taken a 2-0 lead over the world’s greatest Go player, Lee Sedol of South Korea. One of the ancient Chinese board game’s top U.S. amateur players said of the first loss: “I felt emotional and dizzy, and stepped outside for a minute.” In January, artificial-intelligence company DeepMind, which Google bought a few years ago, announced that its AI had defeated the reigning Go champion in Europe, Fan Hui, in a 5-0 match. Experts reportedly thought an AI capable of that kind of win was at least 10 years away. After that match, DeepMind challenged Lee, who has long been considered the game’s “dominant force.” Lee’s second loss is all the more profound, commentators said, because he made no major mistakes during the course of the game. “How could this happen?” said Go professional Myungwan Kim, after the second defeat. “I can’t believe this.”