Go grandmaster Ke denies planning to play against AI program AlphaGo

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-6-8 1:03:01

Chinese Go grandmaster Ke Jie on Tuesday refused to confirm a rumored match with the computer program AlphaGo, whose developer denied Monday that any match was scheduled.

"I know exactly as much as the media have reported," Ke told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind, the artificial intelligence (AI) lab that developed AlphaGo, posted on his Twitter account on Monday that, "Contrary to Internet rumors, we've not decided yet what to do next with #AlphaGo, once we have, there will be an official announcement here."

Yang Jun'an, president of the Chinese Chess Association, said at the press conference for the World Amateur Go Championship in Wuxi, East China's Jiangsu Province on Saturday that Ke would take part in the "ultimate Go match between human and AI" with AlphaGo within the year, the Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.

According to Yang, the Chinese Go Association and Google had both agreed to arrange a match between Ke and AlphaGo.

However, Ke told the Global Times on Sunday that he had not been informed of any planned match.

On March 16, AlphaGo ended a historic match with South Korean Go grandmaster Lee Se-dol, beating him 4-1 in the best-of-five series.

Afterward, Ke declared war on the computer program on his account on Sina Weibo, saying, "Even though AlphaGo may have defeated Lee Se-dol, it won't beat me."

Ke, 18, turned professional in 2008 and has been hailed by media as a Go prodigy. He is the youngest person in history to win three major international tournaments, after beating Lee in the final of the MLily Cup in January.

Go - an ancient Chinese board game popular throughout East Asia  - involves two contestants moving black and white stones on a square grid with the aim of seizing the most territory.

The most famous AI victory in a strategic board game to date came in 1997 when the IBM-developed supercomputer Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, the then world chess champion, in its second attempt.

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