Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

Go's world champ expects Google AI to lose its big match

Just don't expect the same prediction in a few years.

Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence might have beaten a Go champion last month, but you shouldn't expect a repeat victory... at least, not according to its next opponent. World champ Lee Sedol tells the Associated Press that he not only expects to beat Google's AlphaGo AI next month, but to clean house -- he's predicting a 5-0 win, or at worst 4-1. That's some tough talk, especially given that many hadn't anticipated any AI beating a Go expert this year. The game's reliance on complexity and intuitive action makes it much harder for computers to play than relatively straightforward games like chess.

Lee isn't being immodest, mind you. He reckons that DeepMind is only slightly less skilled than he is, and he won't be surprised if the technology cleans his clock within a couple of years. In other words, Lee is well aware that AI progresses quickly -- a seemingly insurmountable challenge can be trivially easy given enough code tweaks and training.