Google is going to pit its world-famous “AlphaGo” AI against humanity’s current world number one Go player, according to Ars Technica, which cites a report from Chinese state news agency Xinhua that was published on Sunday.
The self-learning program, developed by Google-owned AI lab, DeepMind, successfully defeated Go grandmaster Lee Se-Dol over a five-match tournament in March, but Ars Technica writes that Lee was only ranked number four in the world at the time.
The world’s best Go player, based on their “Elo score,” is in fact an 18-year-old called Ke Jie, who turned pro in 2008 when he was just 10-years-old.
Back in March, after AlphaGo beat Lee for the first time, Ke reportedly said: “I don’t want to compete with AlphaGo because judging from its matches with Lee, AlphaGo is weaker than me. I don’t want AlphaGo to copy my style.”
He reportedly did a bit of showing off on his Weibo account too, writing: “Even if AlphaGo can defeat Lee Se-dol, it can’t beat me.”
After watching AlphaGo continue to take on Lee, Ke changed his mind. He reportedly said: “AlphaGo was perfect and made no mistake. If the conditions are the same, it is highly likely that I can lose.”
Citing Xinhua, Ars Technica says the match will take place before the end of the year. The publication reportedly said discussions are ongoing and both sides are “inclined to make it happen.”
A Google DeepMind spokesperson told Ars Technica: “We’re still exploring options for AlphaGo’s next steps, but don’t have anything to share at this time.”