Ke Jie, China’s top Go player, is taking on Google’s AlphaGo in a three-game match starting from today in east China’s Wuzhen, initiating another head-on confrontation between human wisdom and artificial intelligence. After four and a half hours’ of tough play today, Ke lost the first game by mere 0.5 points to the AI program. The outcome comes as no surprise but much better than people expected.

The three-game match between Ke and AlphaGo, which will be held on May 23, 25 and 27, is part of a five-day Go summit sponsored by Google, the Chinese Go Association, and Sports Bureau of Zhejiang Province.

Ke, born on August 1997, is ranked the world’s No. 1 Go player. The 19-year-old Ke will be paid US$ 300,000 for the appearance and gets an additional US$ 1.5 million if he wins.

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Sheila Yu

Sheila Yu is a Shanghai-based technology writer. She brings readers the biggest news from Chinese language tech media. Reach her at sheila@technode.com.