Google's DeepMind lab made history when their AlphaGO artificial intelligence did the impossible in terms of A.I. feats and bested a human world champion, Lee Sedol. While Sedol took home the trophy in a world championship, there were, of course, those who played the game better than him. One of those individuals is Grandmaster Ke Jie. Jie had faced off against Sedol's formidable skill in the ancient game of infinite possibilities before, and was watching his match with the A.I. closely. At one point, he took to microblogging platform Sina Weibo to express his confidence in his ability to best the A.I. According to reports that surfaced following a press conference with the International Go Federation on Saturday, Ke Jie will be stepping into the arena with AlphaGO at some point in 2016 to back up his claim.
The Chinese Go wonder had stated previously that he had observed the way AlphaGO went about its game and was not terribly impressed, stating that he did not feel like stooping to take on an A.I. that was clearly weaker than him. Apparently, he had expected Sedol, who he had bested previously, to show that man still had machine beat. When that didn't happen and Sedol got historically stomped by DeepMind's Go-playing robot, Ke Jie had a change of heart. Though he continued to insist he could beat the A.I. without issue despite having underestimated it, he decided at that point that he was willing to give it a go, most likely simply to prove that no A.I. can best a human on any level just yet.
The up and coming prodigy, only 18 years old, has yet to announce exactly when his duel with the machine will happen or if there are any special preparations he plans to engage in leading up to the match. DeepMind staffer Demis Hassabis later Tweeted that the match was not quite a sure thing yet. Still, it would seem that everything is in place for the most revered Go player on the tournament circuit, perhaps the best in the world, to have his own historic showdown with AlphaGO.