"A mysterious character named “Master” has swept through China, defeating many of the world’s top players in the ancient strategy game of Go.
Master played with inhuman speed, barely pausing to think. ... [and] revealed itself Wednesday as an updated version of AlphaGo, an artificial-intelligence program designed by the DeepMind unit of Alphabet Inc.’s Google.
AlphaGo made history in March by beating South Korea’s top Go player in four of five games in Seoul. Now, under the guise of a friendly fox, it has defeated the world champion.
It was dramatic theater, and the latest sign that artificial intelligence is peerless in solving complex but defined problems. AI scientists predict computers will increasingly be able to search through thickets of alternatives to find patterns and solutions that elude the human mind.
Master’s arrival has shaken China’s human Go players, who say it upended thousands of years of the game’s strategic wisdom.
'After humanity spent thousands of years improving our tactics, computers tell us that humans are completely wrong,' Mr. Ke, 19, wrote on Chinese social media platform Weibo after his defeat. 'I would go as far as to say not a single human has touched the edge of the truth of Go.'"