So Google’s AI beats a human playing Go (4:1), a seemingly ancient game played all over East Asia. It’s not the first time AI has beat a human playing a game. In 1997, chess master Garry Kasparov lost to IBM’s Deep Blue. AI has also won games of checkers and Othello and Jeopardy!. But what does this really mean? It means that artificial intelligence is good at winning games where the rules are quite succinctly defined. Not that Go is an easy game to play, it does involve a level of real artificial intelligence known as deep learning. The game is played on a 19×19 board, with the goal being to gain the most territory by placing and capturing black and white stones. The average game is 150 moves, with a possible 10^170 board configurations.
The question of course is how smart is AI really? Games like Sudoku are *easy* to solve because they have nice, concise rules. In fact an algorithm to solve Sudoku using recursion is relatively simple. Other games are not so. Will AI ever be smart enough to play a game of Jenga? Snakes and ladders? Probably not… in fact any game that involves some form of creativity will likely not be solved by AI. Creativity in general is not something computers do well.