Chinese Go master Ke Jie may face Google's AlphaGo: report

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 7, 2016, 11:02 Updated : June 7, 2016, 11:02

Lee Sedol (Left) shakes hands with Google AI developer Demis Hassabis (Right) before a Go game in Seoul. [Courtesy of Google]

Google's artificial intelligence may face the world's Go champion Ke Jie of China after writing an epic drama with an overwhelming victory against South Korea's Lee Sedol in a match of the ancient Chinese board game three months ago, according to a report.    

Contact was made between Chinese officials and Google's artificial intelligence (AI) team DeepMind about another historic match between AlphaGo and Ke Jie, who was ranked top in the world by defeating Lee in January, Engadget, an IT specialist media outlet, reported.

Engadget said the proposed match probably at the end of this year was revealed by a Chinese Go association spokesperson at the 37th World Amateur Go Championship at the weekend in the Chinese city of Wuxi.

Responding to what he described as "Internet rumors", DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis said nothing has been decided. "Contrary to internet rumours, we've not decided yet what to do next with #AlphaGo. Once we have, there will be an official announcement here," he tweeted.
In a March showdown that drew a widespread global attention, AlphaGo, a computer program developed by DeepMind, stunned the world by scoring a 4-1 victory against Lee in a five-game match in Seoul.

At that time, Ke Jie expressed his strong confidence in his skills but refused to compete with AlphaGo. "I don’t want to compete with AlphaGo because judging from its matches with Lee, AlphaGo is weaker than me."

The Chinese spokesperson did not say why Ke Jie changed his mind.  However, his reported match with AlphaGo would provide a good chance for him to show the world that he's not only all talk but the world's true Go champ.

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