Man vs. machine: World ‘Go’ champion faces Google computer

Can a machine beat a human? That’s what Lee Se-dol, the world champion of the ancient Chinese board game Go, is about to find out. Lee is facing AlphaGo, a computer program built by Google DeepMind, on Wednesday in the first of five games of Go. The stakes are high. If Lee wins, he gets $1 million and reasserts his title as global champ; a loss by the South Korean would signal another technological advance by scary smart computers. (Google will donate the prize money to charity.) “I heard Google DeepMind’s [artificial intelligence] is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win,” Lee said before the match in Seoul. Lee, 33, holds the highest possible professional ranking for a Go player — 9 dan –…

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