RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
OK, Steve, time for a very quick story.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
MARTIN: Ready, set, go.
INSKEEP: Here we go. It's a story about a board game called Go, a game where players try to control space on what is essentially a really big, oversized checkerboard. Now, it's fairly simple learn the game, but the number of possible moves is staggering - apparently more than the number of atoms in the observable universe.
MARTIN: That's a lot. So until very recently, the game was just too hard for computers. This week, a Google program called AlphaGo is playing a series against Ke Jie. He's the world's top-ranked human player. Their first match started like this...
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Ke Jie versus AlphaGo. We'll conduct the game by the Chinese Go rules.
MARTIN: About four and a half hours later, AlphaGo won.
INSKEEP: (Laughter) Match number two is this morning, China time, and the computer won again, taking the series from the human.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.