AI Enabled By Default Hurts Teaching

Hi OGS team & everyone!

I would like to see the AI feature being off by default instead of automatically on.
Another wish is to have a teaching game mode that would let me have control of that.
Note: Most of the game reviews I do are not games I played, so adding a ‘Teaching Game’ mode alone does not solve things, but is another nice-to-have :slight_smile:

I teach Go almost every day now as my career and students tell me they’re seeing AI suggestions in our reviews. Here are some cons and reasons I think it should not be enabled by default:

  • It clutters up the board when it’s not specifically wanted, and a surprising number of OGS users (not just new users) don’t even know about the right-side menu that pops out on hover, which is where many options are, including the option to turn off AI.
  • Those specifically looking to turn AI on will figure out how to do so.
  • It hinders the teaching process; not only does it make the board look chaotic and overwhelming, I’ve had students mistaking AI suggestions (eg. blue move) for something I’m trying to show them, thinking I’m making that move blue, meanwhile I didn’t even know they were seeing AI stuff.
  • It hinders the teaching process (continued); AI suggestions conflict with what is being shown and suggested by a teacher, which hinders the lesson. Students who don’t understand the whole situation surrounding AI may take it to mean they’re being taught wrong things. Furthermore, when AI is on, the answers to the teacher’s questions for the student will be shown by AI, as well as which moves are bad. This massively hinders the teaching process and makes it harder for students to think of their own ideas.

For my situation this is actually a pretty urgent problem. I don’t want to switch to KGS. Games for the league I run, BenKyo League, are played on OGS and doing them there is quite convenient. I also really love some of OGS’s features such as the pen tool for teaching.
Update (2024-01-14): I hope my “don’t want to switch to KGS” comment doesn’t sound like some sort of passive-aggressive threat, not intended :slight_smile:

Please support this request if you agree! I believe other Go teachers in the community would appreciate that as well.



While there is measurable benefit to having an AI embedded on to OGS the way it has been, it would be a mistake to consider it perfect as it stands.

As a voice to further the above, I would like to add another potential option that may well be worth considering.

Having the AI feature being turned off in the side bar as automatic, would be nice. But, in addition to that, a person should also have the ability to turn off AI in their profile options menus as well. This would offer the chance for people trying to learn without AI, the opportunity to not have such simple access to the AI on the side bar. There are already other options for AI in the profile menus so adding an off button, might be a good idea.

Personally, while the AI can be an invaluable tool, it can also be a hindrance for those of us who wish to play through variations without the AI prompting the best possible move.

What’s the point of discovering why a move is bad, if an answer without any context, in the form of an alternative move suggestion, shuts that down immediately?

Yes…OGS primarily is a server for playing games. But, the goal of every player, at least in some small part, is to improve…and as such, putting in place small mechanical fixes to aid that learning, make a markedly large contribution over time.

Alternatively, I would also suggest that AI be available only in game reviews. But I can understand how that may not be as good of an idea as simply having AI off. Though I’ve heard it said before that people would prefer AI be available in reviews, so perhaps not such a terrible idea?


I agree, as an experienced player who took a long break before AlphaGo, etc. and began again in 2022, for a while I didn’t know how to disable the AI suggestions, which was very cluttering (and confusing, given that I had never used it before and preferred to review ‘‘manually’’.) with its many suggestions when I was attempting to review a game without them.

(actually, it made it impossible for a time, because the move suggestions, triangles, squares, different colours and numbers, etc. cluttered the board so much for me, that I just didn’t review some of my first games on the server)

I can imagine it being just as cluttering for many beginning players, and potentially confusing, and have chatted with other experienced players who didn’t know how to disable or use it either (and had found it difficult to review their games as a result).

I think that it can hinder students/players in general in this way too, compared to pre-AI and working to think and read/analyse by oneself (or with other players in review).

There are often many perfectly playable variations which are not ‘‘the blue move’’ the AI shows, or which the analysis shows as slightly unideal but can be fine to play or even difficult for a human opponent to handle.

In terms of impacting commentaries, I’ve noticed some of the issues BenKyo mentions when in reviews of SDK/DDK players I was reviewing for/with, and other issues as well — the suggested variations can also clutter a variation left in the chat which contains the same moves but is less long.

(for example, a complicated 16-move long IA suggestion can be shown in its entirety in semi-transparent stones when leaving variations in the comments, even when the intent is to show only a simple 3-move sequence — which is the same as the first 3 moves of the very complicated suggestion.

Currently, it’s necessary to pass once or twice before sending the variation to avoid the clutter.

Otherwise, the player receiving the commentary has often thought the sequence/commentary intended is for a long, complex sequence and gets confused or can miss the key concept whilst attempting to follow the long sequence)

I agree in general that there are more benefits to having the analysis off by default, and I like the idea of simply having a popup ‘?’ tooltip pointing to button, and to the relevant documentation/FAQs, for first time users.

This would be excellent too, if it’s not already possible in game reviews (including disabling the win%/territory counting display, which can be potentially distracting).

I seem to recall that it was disabled in game reviews before? (or maybe just not available yet?)

Maybe just an option to ''display/disable AI analysis and suggestions for viewers" in a game review?


Oh yes, good point! I also prefer to self-review before checking AI, and encourage it of others, so this is yet another benefit of not starting things off with AI being on.



One more thought - perhaps give the control to whomever creates the review?
I don’t really mind AI being on by default if a feature is added to give the reviewer control of it for both players–but any ample solution of all of them works for me.


I fully join your suggestion.


My observation is that it just saves whatever settings you had previously. If you have ai review turned off it will be turned off in the next games also. So if you don’t use ai review it won’t bother you at all.

The shooting in your leg happens when you turn ai on and off and just expect it to magically guess what mode you would prefer in next game you play. It’s turned on by default only first time you create an account and have your first game, afterwards it only saves your preferences.

We make our way from the bottom up through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, not from the top to bottom. While we have such horribly done things like direct messaging system I don’t think that such high end stuff would even be considered as to add special Default option which didn’t exist before.


What about players who don’t have a teacher? Maybe it would better to have AI analysis turned off by default for reviews, but turned on by default for (finished) games.


Even then, reviewing the game themself first (with optional AI assistance once they choose to turn it on) might be more beneficial.


Users who know how to do that won’t have trouble switching it on or off as they want or as they are told by their teacher. But I agree that it can be confusing to those who don’t know about it, so it might be better to turn it off by default everywhere.


Of course when you turn everything off by default, and if it is difficult to find the button to toggle it, then it might be the case that people don’t realise OGS has the functionality for Ai reviews…

So is the real problem the fact that it’s on by default or that the sidebar isn’t obvious enough on desktop? The buttons are below the board on mobile.


I agree. The AI is distracting when teaching (not online, to someone beside me). On rare occasions I turn it on again.


For example one simple thing one can do with just CSS for instance, is that you can highlight the sidebar button whenever you hover over the AI review.

not hovering


or you can see the effect of it for yourself here in this preview

(I don’t think the actual AI review is working, but the hover is)


As someone got into Go on their own, please don’t turn it off as default. Someone with a teacher has guidance anyway and the teacher can help to turn AI suggestions off. Someone getting into Go on their own without any guidance has a really hard time understanding what’s going on. AI suggestions helped me a lot with getting a glimpse into how the game is supposed to be played. I guess without it, I would have been turned off quite fast.


How about turning it off by default, but showing a pop-up pointing to the button to enable it to all players new to the site, which is always displayed to someone after their first game, and with a link to the guide to how the AI suggestions function?

This way, new players on the site will know how to disable/enable it if wanted, understand it better, and also know that it exists. ^^


Perhaps we need a more visible “AI” button, like this?


When multiple people review a game simultaneously, it is very important that all people see the same things. Otherwise it only causes confusion and misunderstandings (when communication over the internet is already difficult).

Afaik, OGSs review feature does not enforce this (people can navigate the variations tree independently, and apparently some people may see AI review, some don’t). Imo this is suboptimal for the scenario where people review in real-time. I’d say that this causes the described troubles.

Imo if OGS wants to improve on the review feature, this should be adressed. When I played on KGS, there reviews worked in the way that one person had control, and all people see the same thing - not a bad system imo.


Everyone has a choice to sync and follow the reviewers board or wander on their own.


Even though I’m a heavy user of the AI reviews myself (I try to go through them for every game I play), I also think they should be off-by-default, at least in the review board. I’ve introduced a number of friends to OGS, and every one of them has been confused or distracted by them.

It has been especially confusing in game reviews, and their default of “percentage chance of winning” makes the numbers (and the graph) completely meaningless for handicap games.

That said, I agree with @Civilian that if it’s off-by-default there’s a discoverability problem. And the score (not percentage) version of the graph seems useful/informative even for beginners.


Maybe a compromise would be to show the score graph even if the AI review is turned off. Then, for discoverability, a button immediately underneath the graph could (redundantly with the sidebar) toggle AI reviews on.

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