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Computer Wins Again In Chinese Game Of Go

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

OK, Steve, time for a very quick story.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All right.

MARTIN: Ready, set, go.

INSKEEP: Here we go. It's a story about a board game called Go, a game where players try to control space on what is essentially a really big, oversized checkerboard. Now, it's fairly simple learn the game, but the number of possible moves is staggering - apparently more than the number of atoms in the observable universe.

MARTIN: That's a lot. So until very recently, the game was just too hard for computers. This week, a Google program called AlphaGo is playing a series against Ke Jie. He's the world's top-ranked human player. Their first match started like this...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Ke Jie versus AlphaGo. We'll conduct the game by the Chinese Go rules.

MARTIN: About four and a half hours later, AlphaGo won.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) Match number two is this morning, China time, and the computer won again, taking the series from the human. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.