Chinese Go grandmaster denies rumored match against AlphaGo

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 8, 2016, 15:30 Updated : June 8, 2016, 15:30

Ke Jie, the Chinese Go grandmaster [Yonhap Photo]

Ke Jie, the current World's number one player in the ancient Chinese game of Go, denied Tuesday any reports regarding him playing against Google DeepMind's artificial intelligence (AI) "AlphaGo".

Various media reported that the Chinese Go grandmaster is in a preparation of match against the AI, but Ke Jie refused to confirm the reports. "I know exactly as much as the media have reported," Ke told Chinese media Global Times. Ke also told the media that he had not been informed of any planned match.

The match between the humans' best and the AI first surfaced during the World Amateur Go Championship in Wuxi, on Saturday. Yang Jun'an, president of the Chinese Go Association, said at the press conference that the grandmaster will match against AlphaGo within the year, the Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday. Yang also told Xinhua that the association and Google both agreed to arrange the match.

Although many Go fans and AI developers focused their attention whether the report is true, but the possibility of the match taking place got very unlikely due to Google DeepMind CEO's tweet. Demis Hassabis, the CEO of DeepMind, 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 stunned the world by scoring a 4-1 victory against Korean Go master Lee Sedol 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."

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