The Google DeepMind Challenge Match was a world first. Artificial Intelligence taking on a human at the ancient game of Go, a Chinese board game with an incalculable number of potential moves. Lee Sedol, a World champion would be taking on the DeepMind computer AlphaGo with five matches scheduled to take place over five days based in Seoul, South Korea. The objectives, to create a historical milestone in AI development, change the perception of AI behaviour and capability and increase awareness of Go.
An event of this magnitude posed multiple technical and logistical issues that stretched the team to their limit. We were responsible for every element of the event, including managing all communications between London, South Korea and the US.
With a key objective to create awareness of both the AI learning program DeepMind had created and the ancient game of Go, social media would be imperative to the overall success of the event.
A YouTube channel was created to live stream each of the five matchdays across the globe and a hashtag was developed to create discussion on Twitter and other social platforms. Over 4 miles of cabling was installed, 7 broadcast trucks were bought in and multiple internet lines capable of delivering high volumes of data were connected.
The event was viewed over 280 million times on YouTube and the hashtag AlphaGo at the time had received over 7.5m impressions. The event captivated an audience, demonstrated the vast possibilities of AI technology and sales of Go boards increased ten-fold during the event.
An event that will go down in history as the time computers became smarter than humans.