It's a strange one this. I'm not doubting the mathematics quoted to support the fact that this is a *big thing*
* I know that the experts keep telling us that there are more possible moves in a game of Go than molecules in a camel the size of the universe, passing through the eye of a needle... er... or something like that.
* And I know the experts say that you can't tell who's winning in a game of Go until the fat lady is in her taxi, on the way home after the gig.
* And I admit I know so little about Go that up until this tournament, i thought it was just another name for Othello.
Stepping through the game moves on the site linked to above, I don't get the feeling I'm watching an advance in AI. In fact, given the binary nature of the playing pieces [black vs. white discs] it instinctively feels *less* impressive than watching a computer play chess, where there are 6 types of playing piece, which can all move [in different ways] *after* being placed on the board. It just really feels like like the kind of thing a computer *should* be good at.
Now, if Google want their tin brain to have a proper AI workout, combining knowledge, problem-solving and lateral thinking; let them put up a few grand in prize money, give it a couple of newspapers to practice on —and I'll challenge it to a best-of-five match, doing the Guardian's Cryptic Crossword!