Finding Your Ikigai through AI

This is about the AlphaGo documentary, showing how the ancient Chinese game of Go and the Artificial Intelligence collided with a purpose — to teach us about humanity.

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Image from https://www.alphagomovie.com/

It was today, October 30, 2020, when I first watch this movie and I can’t believe that this happened 4 years ago. I wonder now how far the Artificial Intelligence has improved and developed all this time. This is the coolest thing I watched so far and it makes me feel like butterfly in my stomach.

So first, what is Go?

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Image from https://www.alphagomovie.com/gallery

Go is an abstract strategy board game, in which the main goal is to use stones (black and white) to form territories more than the opponent. It is also possible to capture your opponent’s stones by completely surrounding them. This is believe to be the oldest board game that is played until today and it is widely played in China, Korea and Japan. Even if the rules are simple, Go is widely considered the most difficult strategy game to master.

Thus, on March 9, 2016, the DeepMind Challenge Match took place in South Korea, where Lee Sedol, a Go Champion having 18 World Titles, faced and fight against the AI Challenger created by Google DeepMind team, named AlphaGo. This seemed to be amazing best-of-five-game competition in history.

Spoiler Alert***

Out of the five games, AlphaGo almost won all but in the fourth game, God’s move took placed which let Lee Sedol won for the first time.

Below is the result of their fight.

Game One: Lee Sedol resigned
Game Two: Lee Sedol resigned
Game Three: Lee Sedol resigned
Game Four: AlphaGo resigned
Game Five: Lee Sedol resigned

What does this tell us?

Lee Sedol is indeed a genius and great Go player; he really showed a good fight with AlphaGo. We could see the limit of the human brain in decision and strategy making and the power of artificial intelligence through this movie. I remember Lee Sedol saying this after his third loss, “I want to apologize for being so powerless.” This moved me and inspired me to always accept defeat. I admired him more when he finally won the fourth game, as he did not expect it to happen but he managed to find something seemingly out of nothing.

Lee Sedol was very thankful for this opportunity to fight as he found the reason to play Go. He was able to discover his Ikigai through this experience, his reason to keep going, his reason to learn Go.

This documentary is indeed great, inspiring and emotional! It is so exciting to see how AI and human could work together in the future, as long as good people and good machines are involved.

In the end, I was able to appreciate the power and determination of the human mind. AlphaGo would not be possible without the amazing team behind it so I look forward for more!

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