Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had some complimentary things to say about Google today. His remarks came a few hours after Google’s AlphaGo artificial intelligence (AI) program beat Lee Sedol, a highly decorated player of the board game Go, in the third consecutive game of a five-game match in Sedol’s native South Korea.
Google competes with Facebook on some fronts, and both companies are at the forefront of AI research. In fact, the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) group has been training its own AI software to play Go, but clearly it’s not yet at the same level as AlphaGo. Zuck’s praise for Google could be read as a challenge to Facebook researchers to step their game up.
FAIR head Yann LeCun today also offered congratulatory words to Google.
In January, I asked Demis Hassabis — head of the Google DeepMind research group that’s behind AlphaGo — if there were any plans for AlphaGo to take on Facebook’s computer Go player. He told me that there were not. But perhaps the companies could consider holding such a match in the future, now that it’s clear a machine can top a preeminent human Go player.