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Go Champion 'Speechless' After 2nd Loss to Computer

  • VOA News

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol appears on the screen during the second match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo at the media room in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2016.

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol appears on the screen during the second match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo at the media room in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2016.

World champion Go player Lee Sedol said he was "speechless" after a second straight loss Thursday to Google's AlphaGo, a new style of "intuitive" artificial intelligence.

Lee and AlphaGo are playing a best-of-five-game, human vs. machine challenge of the ancient Chinese game Go, considered one of the most complex board games.

"I am quite speechless. I admit it was a very clear loss on my part," Lee told reporters in Seoul after the match. Before the challenge, the 33-year-old had predicted he would beat the supercomputer in a "landslide."

Appearing grim and ashen after the four-hour match, Lee said he had found "no weakness" in AlphaGo's performance during Thursday's match. "AlphaGo played a near-perfect game today. ... I will try my best so that I will win at least one game."

Three games left

Lee has to win the next three games -- to be held Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday -- to win the $1 million cash prize. Even if he loses Saturday's match, he said he will play all five games. However, “the third game is not going to be easy for me,” Lee said Thursday.

If AlphaGo wins, Google will donate the money to charity.

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol reviews the match himself after finishing the second match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2016.

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol reviews the match himself after finishing the second match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2016.

On Wednesday, South Korea and Go fans were in shock after the computer program beat Lee, who has won 18 world championships.

Hundreds of thousands of people are watching the games live on TV in Asia and on Google's DeepMind YouTube channel.

'Mount Everest' of AI

AlphaGo's creators have described Go as the "Mount Everest" of AI, citing the complexity of the game, which requires a degree of creativity and intuition to prevail over an opponent.

Go, which originated in China more than 2,500 years ago, is a complex game with an almost incalculable number of move options. The game involves two players who take turns placing black and white stones on a grid-shaped board. The winner is the player who manages to seal off more territory.

The most famous AI victory to date was in 1997, when the IBM-developed supercomputer Deep Blue beat then-world class chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

WATCH: Second matchup between AlphaGo, World Champion Lee Sedol

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