American Go E-Journal

Over 10,000 tune in for Facebook AI Pair Go match

Wednesday July 25, 2018

More than 10,000 viewers tuned in on Twitch Tuesday night to watch Andy Liu and Ryan Li pair up with AI partners in the 2018.07.26 PairGoAI-stephanie-et-alFacebook Open Go Pair Go match. “It was a huge success,” said event organizer James Pinkerton. “I was so impressed with the incredibly high quality of the game. It was amazing how often the human players’ moves were exactly what the AI would have chosen.” The match featured $4,500 in prizes and paired both players with Facebook’s Open Go AI, which was set for approximately 30,000 roll-outs and 15 seconds per move. Stephanie Yin 1P and Managing Editor Chris Garlock provided live commentary for the audience in the Sadler Center auditorium at William and Mary College, where this year’s US Go Congress is being held. Qucheng Gong contributed insights into the AI’s assessments of the game in real time. Andy Liu/Open Go won the game by resignation after a dramatic middle-game. 2018.07.26 PairGoAI-group“Sometimes Ryan and I would just look at each other and be like ‘We have no idea,’” laughed Liu in the post-game analysis. The game included 3-3 invasions in all four corners, most initiated by the human players, both of whom have been studying AI play extensively in recent months. And as in human Pair Go games, there were periods where two partners seemed to be playing entirely different games. “It was often hard to know just what my partner was thinking,” admitted Li; “I was just trying to follow its lead.” The broadcast team included Steven Hu, Nathan Epstein, Joel Cahalan, Nate Eagle, Josh Lee and Dennis Wheeler; Solomon Smilack did the KGS simulcast. “We’re really excited to bring this open source go AI to the go community,” said Pinkerton, who works at Facebook. “We hope it’ll become an increasingly useful tool for go players around the world.”
photos by Phil Straus; top: (l-r) Yin, Garlock and Gong commenting; bottom (l-r): Garlock, Yin, Gong, Pinkerton, Liu, Li.