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President’s Message
Newsletter "SEI WORLD" Vol. 463

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

Next Move

The news that artificial intelligence (AI) beat a world-leading player at the game of go has attracted much attention from the public. It had been said that in the case of go, since the number of options for the next move is astronomical, especially when a player tries to strategize several moves ahead, even today’s computers with highly advanced calculation ability could almost never defeat human players.

Unfortunately, I do not know enough about go or AI to share any in-depth observations with you, but I would like to express my deep respect for the human player who accepted the challenge from the AI “player.” It is always difficult to fight against an unknown opponent. In addition, a defeat in this match, which drew considerable attention from around the world, might have crushed his confidence and pride as a world top-class professional go player.

In the five-game match, the AI won the first game and people around the world were surprised by this victory. However, the AI’s three victories in a row made people realize that the AI was much more capable than they had imagined, leading many people to expect that all five games would be won by the AI. This was why the world was surprised even more when the human player counter-attacked to win the fourth game. His victory might have been due to his determination to regain his lost confidence, or the boldness he showed at a crucial moment. I do not think that it is an exaggeration to praise his victory as a result indicating the possibilities of mankind.

After losing the match, the human player made a comment, which could be paraphrased as follows: “The standard moves that I have regarded as the best might not be actually the best.” If he questions what he has taken for granted, he may be able to find even better ways and proceed to a further stage. I am sure that he has gained something that is granted only to those who have taken on challenges.

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

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