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Peng Peng / AP

The world's best player of Go (the world's most complicated board game) was roundly defeated by a Google program called AlphaGo in the first game of their three-game match this week, per the NYT.

Why it's so complicated: Go has an incalculable number of possible moves, meaning that a supercomputer can't simply crunch the numbers. Instead, AlphaGo uses artificial intelligence to learn new techniques each time it plays — even learning more by playing against itself. Because Go has been played for thousands of years, AlphaGo's unorthodox moves can ruffle grandmasters like Ke Jie, the world's best player.

What's next: Ke defeated AlphaGo last year, but said now that it's "improving too fast," calling it "a different player this year compared to last year." Google hopes to transfer AlphaGo's exponential learning success to other applications, like scientific research and medical diagnoses.

Go deeper

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
19 mins ago - Economy & Business

The crypto kings

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Bitcoin is largely a wash for 2021, but that isn't dimming crypto optimism among venture capitalists or their deep-pocketed limited partners.

Driving the news: Andreessen Horowitz this morning announced that it's raised $2.2 billion for its third crypto-focused fund.

BuzzFeed announces plans to go public via SPAC

Photo: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

BuzzFeed said Thursday it plans to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company is targeting a $1.5 billion valuation upon combining with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, Inc., a blank-check company.

Driving the news: As part of the transaction, Buzzfeed said it plans to acquire Complex Networks, a lifestyle and entertainment media company, for $300 million in cash and stock.

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