Alpha(Go) and Omega

Been following AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol which if you don't know much about it, is basically a revolutionary AI playing weiqi against the world number 1 player. It's a revolutionary AI because AIs which have beaten other games such as chess and reversi do it through brute force calculations, calculating millions of possible outcomes and choosing the best. This is impossible in weiqi due to the large board size and possible moves (thus rendering brute force impossible) and simplicity of official rules which leaves great room for abstract strategies (preventing the use of algorithms which simplify the brute force method). Instead, AlphaGo uses an AI which learns by playing against itself, millions of times, until it becomes incredibly good at the game. It is in effect an AI which plays very much like a human.

It's interesting I feel. Though I never had much interest in weiqi, I can appreciate the implications of the existence of such a powerful AI which was able to beat Lee Sedol 3-0.

The thing I found most interesting though, is how AlphaGo is in some ways affecting the way weiqi is played. A ranked 600 player was invited to test AlphaGo and after training with AlphaGo for 5 months, has since climbed to rank 300. During the match against Lee Sedol, AlphaGo occasionally played moves that seemed ridiculous (some commentators said that their senseis would hit them for making such a move) but in reality had an effect ten turns later that no one could foresee.

It does in a strange way remind me of faith. Like how AlphaGo makes moves that no one could understand, but they turned out to be really important moves later, so it is with us when we trust God.

In game 4 (which Lee Sedol finally managed to win), AlphaGo made a series of what looked like serious mistakes (and probably are), but after the first 3 games of AlphaGo making moves people didn't understand at first, experts became so hesitant to call AlphaGo out on it knowing that it could be something they couldn't forsee.

This was the trust of the experts of the field, towards an imperfect AI.

And we, hardly even masters of our own lives, can find it difficult to trust a perfect God.

It is a stark comparison for me. Why do we seem to trust AlphaGo more than we would trust God, knowing that the former is merely a man-made AI (though a really powerful one), while the later is the Alpha and the Omega?

So yes, in a strange way as I was watching bits and pieces of the games, reading about it and watching the press conference, I am reminded of our humanity, and of our awesome God.

This is especially pertinent in a time where I find myself needing to trust God. I don't really know how things are going down with school and I increasingly find myself a little lost with what I am doing. I applied for 14 internships now and havn't even been called up for a single interview. The big dreams suddenly don't feel so attractive anymore, I'm really not quite sure.

And with so many other things happening since the start of this year, I really feel right now much more than any other point in my life, that I am not the master of my destiny.

There is only one Lord of my life, and it is not me.