In contests between humans and machines, humans keep losing — but at least we're getting something out of our defeats.
The victory is historic for AI because AlphaGo is programmed to teach itself the game instead of working from a defined set of commands.
It has now retired from competitions to focus on other tasks, like finding cures for diseases.
IBM's Watson followed a similar path. It defeated the person who held the longest winning streak in "Jeopardy" history, and then it entered the medical field. It's already diagnosed a woman with a rare form of cancer that doctors couldn't identify.
There's also an AI that plays Texas Hold'em. It outplayed four professional poker players by about $1.75 million in chips. Its technology is expected to be harnessed in fields where using misinformation to negotiate can be a benefit, like in military strategy or business negotiations.