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 Post subject: AlphaGo Surge
Post #1 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:15 pm 
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Anyone else seen a local uptick in Go club attendance or interest? I don't have a meeting until Sunday so proof is a few days off but I've received more emails than usual asking about details.

Could be that "Human loses games, more humans play" is an outcome of all this.

Bruce "Club Kid" Young

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #2 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:19 pm 
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For the first time, people at work have voluntarily started up discussion about Go with me. This happened about three times in the morning last week, with about 8 different people.

I wouldn't say they were strongly interested in learning Go - but they were interested in computers defeating humans.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #3 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:48 pm 
Oza

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Several people in my department know I play go. Not one has said a thing.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #4 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:02 pm 
Oza

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Haven't seen any. A little bit of chat on Facebook posts I made about it but nothing about learning to play the game. The national coverage was fairly minimal. I don't think there was much of an uptick after the Fan Hui game either and after that they had some people from the IGA talking about go for a segment on the national news show.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #5 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:18 pm 
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I think one cannot expect direct action after the match.
But it has gained the attention of family, friends, colleagues around me, which I think is a good thing.
The match gained lots of publicity. Live broadcasts in my country, television interviews, national newspaper headlines, editorials, etc. Never seen this before. Gave me a chance to get my 2 seconds of fame (I know, they used to say 15 minutes, but inflation you know...) during a live radio interview at a local radio station, was fun. The spin-off in terms of publicity was tremendous. Let's build on this to attract people to club meetings.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #6 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:40 pm 
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During AlphaGo week:

1) I saw a Chinese person watching an AlphaGo analysis on his Macbook on a random Starbucks run for coffee. Chatted with him, told him about the Seattle Go Center and the Thursday meetups in the mall, and went on my way.

2) I analyzed the games during lunch break at my workplace. I brought my table board and a set of slate and shell stones instead of a laptop because I think it looks cool to go over the games with the set. Coworkers who stopped by the eating area got to see me reviewing the game with a couple of coworkers who are Go players and they got interested in listening even if they didn't understand all the variations I was covering.

3) I wasn't able to go to the Seattle Go Center on Tuesday, but there were several newcomers who came by to the Thursday meetup including a dan-level Korean gentleman who was following the AlphaGo games. That Thursday was the first time he played Go in America.

4) The first game viewing party attracted 60ish people to the Seattle Go Center, so it was very packed and the atmosphere was fantastic. I think around a third of the people who came were people I hadn't met before. I also went to the 5th game viewing party, where by the time 2am rolled around, 10 people still stuck around to watch all the way to post-game conference!

5) I teach Go class on Friday's to a Korean school, and I had multiple parents come up to me and chat about AlphaGo. Of course, they were all following the games and definitely rooting for Lee Sedol. When I asked the class if they heard about AlphaGo, they all raised their hands and said their parents had already talked to them about it which was awesome.

6) Even my mom, who doesn't play Go, watched the first game and asked if I was feeling alright after Lee Sedol lost which I thought was really adorable.


This post by Solomon was liked by 2 people: daal, macelee
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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #7 Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:31 pm 
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The maximum number of online users per day on OGS has literally *doubled* from pre-AlphaGo. We were hitting peaks of 1500 per day and now it's 3000 per day. This whole phenomenon has been terrific for the Go community - it's bigger than Hikaru no Go.


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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #8 Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:03 am 
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calantir wrote:
The maximum number of online users per day on OGS has literally *doubled* from pre-AlphaGo. We were hitting peaks of 1500 per day and now it's 3000 per day. This whole phenomenon has been terrific for the Go community - it's bigger than Hikaru no Go.

Are you sure? How did OGS fare when Hikaru was released? :batman:

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #9 Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:18 am 
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Not sure about local clubs, but of course huge interest on the Internet is to be expected.

I am using a Chinese bulletin board system. Its Go section has always been very quiet. But these few days it is the No. 1 section.

I only very recently started using Twitter. By making some comments while the five games ongoing, I picked up more than 300 followers these few days.

Traffic to my go4go.net site surged as can be seen here:
Attachment:
Screenshot from 2016-03-16 07-09-59.png
Screenshot from 2016-03-16 07-09-59.png [ 10.81 KiB | Viewed 5933 times ]


The last two days, I picked up lots of visitors from Asia because goratings.org was covered by some major media channels there.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #10 Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:47 am 
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Traffic to the British Go Association website peaked at about 20x the average for January.

Nearly 100,000 people have viewed our How to Play Go pages - about 50% from outside the UK.

Pentangle have reported selling dozens of their starter sets.

We've had about 100 media mentions in the national press, radio and on TV in the UK. I almost got blasé last night when I turned on the TV and caught the end of the BBC News with a piece about the match and the implications for AI.

So I guess there's been an uptick!

Let's go and build on this by spreading the word in person.

Jon


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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #11 Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:10 am 
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On English Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaGo_versus_Lee_Sedol

has been on the front page, with daily hits peaking at around 48K. The page on go peaked at about 95K, which is 20x normal.


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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #12 Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:33 am 
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I forget where and when I heard this quote but it went along the lines of what the world needs is a million new 30KYU players. Does someone know the exact quote?

If lots of people went out and bought some starter sets then that's great! :) Hopefully we'll see them in the beginners section soon?

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #13 Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:59 am 
Oza

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mumps wrote:
Pentangle have reported selling dozens of their starter sets.


Hebsacker Verlag had a video on their Facebook page on Monday of a large number of orders waiting to be shipped. :)


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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #14 Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:12 pm 
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My library co-workers mentioned stories about it being on NPR, but no new players have sowed up at the meetings.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #15 Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:54 am 
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The Facebook group Go (Weiqi) Players on Facebook has gained a few hundred new members in very short time recently, definitely growing faster than before.

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #16 Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:08 am 
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Bruce, did you see any increased attendance at the go club on Sunday? My attendance is as spotty as usual, but I'm hoping at least a few new players from the Denver area were drawn in. :-)

I did end up having a conversation with a couple of people from my church about the match, one of whom had played the game long ago. We agreed that we'd get together and play sometime, so that might be one new-ish player!

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #17 Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Two players who hadn't shown up in a few years turned up on Sunday. That was nice, we're a tiny club. No interest from new people though. :(

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #18 Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:27 pm 
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longshanks wrote:
I forget where and when I heard this quote but it went along the lines of what the world needs is a million new 30KYU players. Does someone know the exact quote?

If lots of people went out and bought some starter sets then that's great! :) Hopefully we'll see them in the beginners section soon?


I've heard Terry Benson, AGF President, say this in person, though I don't know if he's the first. I think he means in the U.S. alone, though, and maybe it was 2 million. Ambitious. :) I agree, though. If we have a couple million 30kyus then a decade later we won't have to worry about having enough 7-dans for the pro qualifier. As it is, I'm concerned things will get a little thin. I know that if they starting tapping me on the shoulder, we're in trouble. :-?

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 Post subject: Re: AlphaGo Surge
Post #19 Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:17 pm 
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jeromie wrote:
Bruce, did you see any increased attendance at the go club on Sunday? My attendance is as spotty as usual, but I'm hoping at least a few new players from the Denver area were drawn in. :-)

I did end up having a conversation with a couple of people from my church about the match, one of whom had played the game long ago. We agreed that we'd get together and play sometime, so that might be one new-ish player!


Not much compared to the "buzz". 1 player returned after a few years absence. Other than that, just regulars.

Oh, well. If I judged myself by club attendance, I would have stopped it 5 years ago.

Bruce "Kid-sized club" Young

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