World's top Go player hopes to beat AI computer in China

Updated: 2016-05-31 14:13

By Liu Zheng(

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World's top Go player hopes to beat AI computer in China

Ke Jie (Right) plays at the 8th Ing Cup in Shanghai, April 20, 2016. [Photo/IC]

The Go competition between Google's Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer program AlphaGo and South Korean Go master Lee Sedol attracted the world's attention in March.

Now it looks like another man versus machine battle is on the horizon. The world's top Go (or Weiqi) player, 19-year-old Chinese Ke Jie, is likely to compete with an AI-powered Go-playing system in October in Hainan province, according to a tweet on Chinese Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

The tweet is believed to have been posted by the account of Ke's official fan club. It also quoted a picture originally tweeted by Ke on his personal Weibo account, illustrating that he is confident he will defeat AlphaGo even though the system has defeated South Korean Go master Lee Sedol.

Yu Lei, vice president of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Gionee, said, “The competition between AlphaGo and Ke Jie is very likely to be held in October.”

The company announced an endorsement deal with Ke in March during the Go-playing competition between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol.

Although Google's London-based AI subsidiary DeepMind's CEO, Demis Hassabis, has expressed a willingness to invite Ke to be AlphaGo's next opponent and the company's research scientist, so far, Google has not given any hints about the possibility of holding the contest in October in the Chinese mainland.

Developed by DeepMind, AlphaGo had a world ranking of fourth and 3,533 points following its defeat of Lee in March, and it had since climbed to 2nd.

Another domestic tech company NovuMind, founded by former scientist of Hewlett-Packard and Baidu, Wu Ren, is also a rumored participant.

The company also launched an AI system for Go-playing earlier this year and announced it would hold a competition between the machine and Ke this year.

Ke, currently world No 1 in Go ratings, defeated Qiu Jun to win the 2nd Bailing Cup final and become world champion on Jan 14, 2015.

Ke has since earned Go's highest level of nine dan and won the 2015 Samsung Cup.