South Korean Go master Lee Se-dol defeated home-developed artificial intelligence (AI) Go program HanDol. Although Lee had two points on the base, this is the first time that a human has beaten AI since he defeated AlphaGo in 2016.
Lee secured the victory after 92 stones thanks to an early blunder by HanDol, a program developed by South Korea's NHN Entertainment Corp., at the Go match organized by Bodyfriend held at the company’s headquarters in Dogok-dong, Seoul on Dec. 18.
Lee, who announced his retirement as a professional Go player last month, had an official match with the AI player for the first time since 2016 when he competed with Google DeepMind's AlphaGo.
Lee had an advantage of two stones at the start of Wednesday's match, taking into account the inherent edge for the AI.
Lee said afterward he had braced himself for a tougher match and he was left feeling "hollow" after a surprisingly easy win. Lee even wondered if the computer wasn't of as high quality as it should have been.
"I don't want to win like this," Lee said. "There isn't much time, but I think HanDol has to be better prepared."
Lee Se-dol said in an interview after finishing the match, "If HanDol is a professional, it mistook one move for what it should be. "It was a surprise," he said. "I studied AI before the match."
He added, "I thought that I had a little bit of a high winning rate. I will do my best in the second and third Go matches. Please applaud me for doing my best rather than winning."