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World's best Go player beaten by Google's AlphaGo AI

AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence created by researchers at Google DeepMind, has defeated the world's best Go player, Lee Se-dol, in the first of five matches being held in Seoul, South Korea.

AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence created by researchers at Google DeepMind, has defeated the world's best Go player, Lee Se-dol, in the first of five matches being held in Seoul, South Korea. 

For a long time Go -- an ancient Chinese board game in which the aim is to control as much territory as possible -- has been seen as the holy grail by AI researchers due to its instinctive nature. 

Earlier this year AlphaGo defeated European Go champion, Fan Hui, 5-0. The DeepMind team attributed that victory to the AI's unique design, which mimics expert players using "deep neural networks" and improves by learning from games it plays against itself. 

Despite the triumph against Hui, the DeepMind team weren't sure whether AlphaGo would be able to go the distance against Se-dol. Even after taking the first round, DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis still isn't certain AlphaGo will come out on top. 

"It was a very close and tense game today," said Hassabis, speaking to The Verge. "When we came into this match we thought anything was possible and we still think that now — there’s still four games to go."

Those of you who've been in the industry for a while might recall that Hassabis is the game developer responsible for co-designing and programming Bullfrog's Theme Park alongside Peter Molyneux. 

Hassabis would eventually go on to found Evil Genius developer Elixir Studios in 1998, before leaving the industry some time later. In 2012 the creator founded DeepMind, which Google purchased in 2014 for a cool $400 million.

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