Google's AlphaGo takes on Chinese Go master in best of three matches

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This week, China is hosting one of the most anticipated conferences on artificial intelligence (AI).

From May 23 to 27, Ke will play three rounds against AlphaGo in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.

But AlphaGo's success is considered the most significant for AI yet due to the complexity of Go, which has an incomputable number of move options, putting a premium on human-like "intuition", creative thinking and the ability to learn.

Although Ke Jie has been touted as the strongest human player in the game, it seems AlphaGo's quick-second moves seem to have outsmarted all participating human players as the AI has recently recorded a 60-game winning streak.

"My greatest pleasure up to date is to play this match with AlphaGo", said 19 year-old Ke. The machine will also team up with humans in a Pair Go match on Friday. Initially trained on a database of 30 million moves taken from games played by human experts, AlphaGo then finessed its strategy by playing thousands of games against itself.

The program defeated South Korean Go master Lee Se-dol 4-1 in March 2016.

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In Go, players take turns placing stones on a 19-by-19 grid, competing to take control of the most territory.

"I have given all my best in this game, but still have room for further improvement", said Ke, adding that he will always be confident in himself and will try to explore the game further with computer program in the following two matches. Ke Jie, the world's top-ranked Go player, started a three-round showdown on Tuesday against AlphaGo, which beat a South Korean Go master in a five-round showdown previous year.

"I feel like his game is more and more like the "Go god". According to Google there are more potential positions in a Go game than atoms in the universe. But rather than cowering in fear or kneeling before the dominance of AlphaGo, Deep Blue, Watson, and all of the other computers intent on literally beating us at our own games, it's time for us to start fighting back.

"It came out of nowhere, was a huge step forward in artificial intelligence". It didn't aim to trounce Ke Jie, but simply to beat him by whatever means. During last year's game, DeepMind's founder and CEO Demis Hassabis explained that Go is played on a large board with an exponentially larger number of permutations.

Although Reuters reports that Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet, watched the match in person in China, The Times notes that "there was no obvious live video of the event" available to viewers on the Chinese mainland. He'd seen the matches against Sedol, as well as other matches played by AlphaGo online under the nickname of "Master", so he could understand a little better how the Google AI likes to play.

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