Computer bests human in Go

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A computer has beat a top human player at the board game Go for the first time.

At an event in the US, a European supercomputer was able to beat professional Go player, marking the first time a top-ranked human has been bested by the machine.

According to the American Go Association, the computer used some 800 processors running at 15 Teraflops to run the MoGo software program used to beat professional player Myungwan Kim.

The machine was able to best Kim with a 9-stone handicap by a score of 1.5 points. Handicaps are often used to allow players of different skill levels to compete with one another.

"MoGo played really well; after getting a lead, every time I played aggressively, it just played safely, even when it meant sacrificing some stones, " Kim told the association's E-journal.

"It didn’t try to maximise the win and just played the most sure way to win. It’s like a machine."

Kim, who holds a professional ranking of 8p, estimated the machine's skill in the game to be at dan, or the level a good amateur player.

Mastering Go has long been considered one of the greatest challenges for computers due to the number of moves and possible outcomes which the machine must consider before each turn.
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