Google’s AlphaGo beats Chinese master again to clinch series win

Go is a highly complex board game dating back thousands of years that involves two contestants placing black and white stones on a grid.

China's Go player Ke Jie reacts during the first match against Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo. Picture: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO – Google’s artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, beat Chinese Go master Ke Jie for a second time on Thursday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in a best of three series meant to test the limits of computers in taking on humans at complex tasks.

The victory over the world’s top player, which many thought would take decades to achieve, comes after the AI program from Google’s DeepMind unit bested South Korean Go professional Lee Sedol in a similar exhibition match last year.

The victory is a feather in the cap for Google parent Alphabet’s ambitions in the artificial intelligence arena, as it looks to woo Beijing to gain re-entry into the country. AlphaGo faces off against Ke Jie once more on Saturday.

Go is a highly complex board game dating back thousands of years that involves two contestants placing black and white stones on a grid.

It is popular in Asian countries and most top-ranked players hail from China, Japan and South Korea.