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A robot just beat the world Go champion for the first time ever – Skynet is basically here

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Joe Ellison
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Driverless cars. Terminator-like glasses. A search engine so all-consuming it’s now a verb.

If the digits were metal and the pastries filled with innumerable way to enslave mankind, Google would have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies.

And here comes a fresh slice of terrifying future news concerning the Silicon Valley outfit: its AI system AlphaGo has just defeated legendary Go player LEE See-dol in the first of five historic matches being held in South Korea.

Such are the complexities and variables associated with the ancient Chinese board game, AI has rarely been able to compete against top level human opponents. And they get much bigger than lee, with this Seoul-based matchup marking the first time a computer has taken a professional 9-dan Go player.

Sadly for Lee of course, who is competing for a $1m prize, he was no match for the machine, surrendering the first game after three and a half hours with 28 minutes and 28 seconds left on his clock.

"I was very surprised - I didn't expect to lose,” said Lee following the defeat. “I didn't think AlphaGo would play the game in such a perfect manner." 

Meanwhile DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis expressed "huge respect for Lee Se-dol and his amazing skills.”

You can keep an eye on the rest of the games by watching them live here, which given the first game will probably see AlphaGo go on to win the series before decimating the gathered audience with giant laser beams.

We for one welcome our new robotic overlords

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Joe Ellison

Joe is a writer and editor. Specialising in film, food, sport, current affairs, travel writing and adept at pilfering David Brent quotes, Joe describes himself as ‘basically a chilled out entertainer’. Follow Joe on Twitter: @Chevychased 

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