Google’s AlphaGo to take on world No.1 Go player Ke Jie

Google China has announced in Beijing that it will hold The Future of Go Summit where AlphaGo 2.0 will take on the current No.1 Ke Jie. The summit will be held in late May in South China’s Wuzhen.

There will be various games during the summit:

  • The aforementioned one on one contest between AlphaGo 2.0 and Ke Jie. Compared to the five-match game between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol, this one will be a three-match game to decide the winner between AlphaGo and Ke Jie.
  •  The “Pair Go” match where one Chinese Go play will compete against another. However, they will both also have an AlphaGo teammate as well which will play alternate moves.
  •  The “Team Go”, a game between AlphaGo and a five-player team consisting of China’s top pro players.

Go, traditionally a board game like chess, can also be played online on various servers. Google’s AlphaGo is an AI Go player, that plays against top ranked human Go players.

In March last year, AlphaGo defeated Go master Lee Sedol of South Korea to win the series 4-1, proving its capacities of machine learning techniques. Lee, at that time, was the world’s highest ranked Go player.  

 Lee Sedol (Right). Photo from Baidu Images
Lee Sedol (Right). Photo from Baidu Images

Earlier this year in January, a mysterious user with an ID of Master beat 60 games against some of the world’s top Go players including Ke Jie. It was later revealed that the player was actually AlphaGo 2.0.

During the contest between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol in March 2016, Ke had written on his Weibo page, “Even if AlphaGo can defeat Lee Sedol, it can’t beat me.” However, his stance was altered, “With my current proficiency, I may not defeat AlphaGo for now. I must work harder.” as Ke told Chinese media in January this year.

Ke Jie, the 20 year old Chinese professional Go player, is currently ranked as the world number one under Rémi Coulom’s unofficial ranking system.

Ke Jie (Photo from
Ke Jie (Photo from

According to Google, some of the machine learning techniques behind AlphaGo have been used to tackle significant issues such as reducing energy use and medical research projects.

Internet users on Weibo, China’s Twitter, however expressed their concerns about the power of AlphaGo and predicted that it will win as the world has now stepped into the era of artificial intelligence. A Weibo user HeyJude wrote, “I hope humans won’t see great defeat.”

But there were some who had a different perspective. “No matter who wins, it will be the triumph of humans,” wrote Weibo user Feiqide Zhu.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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