Pro Go champ shocked by computer's win

Agence France-Presse
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Grand master Lee Sedol meets the press after his second defeat yesterday.

A Google-developed supercomputer beat a South Korean Go grandmaster again yesterday, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in a five-game series that has become a stunning global debut for a new style of  "intuitive" artificial intelligence (AI).

After shocking the world by defeating Lee Sedol - one of the greatest  modern players of the ancient board game - in their opening match on  Wednesday, the AlphaGo computer proved it was no fluke with another victory  after a gruelling four-and-a-half-hour encounter.

"I am quite speechless. I admit it was a very clear loss on my part," Lee  told reporters after the match, adding 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," said an ashen-faced Lee, who had earlier predicted  that he would beat the supercomputer by a "landslide".

The 33-year-old must win in all three remaining matches - held on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday - to win the series that has a cash prize of US$1 million. 

AlphaGo’s creators have described Go as the "Mt Everest" of AI, saying the game is so complex, it needs a degree of creativity and intuition to  prevail over an opponent.

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

But a true mastery of Go, which has more possible move configurations than there are atoms in the universe, had long been considered the exclusive  province of humans - until now. 

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