American Go E-Journal

Man vs. Machine: Lee Sedol to Face AlphaGo March 9-15 in Seoul

Monday February 22, 2016

The legendary Lee Sedol, the top go player in the world over the past decade, will take on computer program AlphaGo in a landmark five-­match, million-dollar tournament March 9-15. AlphaGo’s 5-game sweep of professional Fan Hui 3P2016.02.22_Lee-Sedol-Myeongin-300x200 2016.02.22_alphago-546x480rocked the world in late January (Game Over? AlphaGo Beats Pro 5-0 in Major AI Advance  1/27/2016 EJ)

“Regardless of the result, it will be a meaningful event in baduk (Go) history,” said Lee Sedol (left). “I heard Google DeepMind’s AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win, at least this time.” AlphaGo has been developed by Google DeepMind, whose CEO and co-founder Demis Hassabis said “Go is the most profound game that mankind has ever devised. The elegantly simple rules lead to beautiful complexity. Go is a game primarily about intuition and feel rather than brute calculation which is what makes it so hard for computers to play well. We are honoured and excited to be playing this challenge match against Lee Sedol, a true legend of the game, and whether we win or lose, we hope that the match will inspire new interest in go from around the world.”

AlphaGo will play Lee Sedol in a five-­game challenge match to be held from Wednesday, March 9 to Tuesday, March 15 in Seoul, South Korea. The games will be even, with $1 million USD in prize money for the winner. If AlphaGo wins, the prize money will be donated to UNICEF, STEM and go charities.

“The whole world is interested in this event as this is the first stage where humans and computers are competing in intelligence,” said Park Chimoon, Vice Chairman of the Korean Baduk Association. “I am proud that this historical stage is baduk (Go). I hope Lee Sedol 9 dan will win this time in order to prove humans’ remarkable intelligence and preserve the mysteries of baduk.”

Categories: Computer Go/AI,Korea,World