Google’s AlphaGo beats Go world champion Ke Jie with 3-0 victory in China (updated)

The three-match series is over, and Google’s AlphaGo has done it again, proving that beating the artificial intelligence Go robot is almost impossible. The computer program today defeated current Go world champion Ke Jie in the third out of three games in China, wrapping up a 3-0 victory.

It has been a little over a year since Google’s AlphaGo stunned the world with its 4-1 victory over Lee Sedol, one of the top Go players in the world. Now, it is facing off against current number one player Ke Jie in three game matches.

During the first game on Tuesday, the 19-year-old Ke played it out till the end, counting the 0.5 win for AlphaGo. Ke told local press after the first match that he knew he would lose early in the game.

Ke Jie fighting against AlphaGo in China. Photo screenshot from Youtube.
Ke Jie fighting against AlphaGo in China. Photo screenshot from Youtube.

“The speed of AI development is beyond our imagination… I believe the future belongs to AI,” Ke wrote on a note posted on his Weibo, China’s Twitter-like blogging platform, the night before the match.

“However, it’s still a cold machine. I can’t feel its passion and love for Go as opposed to human beings,” Ke wrote. “Its passion just lies in the heated CPU with a fast operating speed.”

The match has stirred heated discussions on China’s social media platforms. “I feel that AlphaGo is more likely to win, but it’s not necessary for humans to run faster than cars, right? It’s more important that it can be used for human beings,” a netizen wrote on Zhihu, China’s equivalent of Quora. Before the match, Chinese Go master Nie Weiping predicted that it will be lucky of Ke Jie to win one game.

Demis Hassabis (left), Ke Jie, and Eric Schmidt (right), the Executive Chairman of Google's Alphabet.
Demis Hassabis (left), Ke Jie, and Eric Schmidt (right), the Executive Chairman of Google’s Alphabet at the event. Photo from Google.

Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google’s DeepMind which created the machine, told CNBC that the team feels confident that AlphaGo will play well. He added that he was excited to see what creative things Ke Jie would come up with to test the machine to its limits.

Ke will face its AI competitor again for the second game on Thursday during the “Future of Go Summit” in Wuzhen, China. The finale will take place on Saturday. Alphago will fight in two matches this Friday: one where it will team up with a human teammate to play against two Chinese players, and the other where it take on five Chinese professional players at once.

(Top photo from Google)

Timmy Shen

Timmy is a contributor at ATA. He's passionate about photography, education, food and all things tech. He holds a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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