Lee Se-dol sad his battle against AlphaGo is over

March 15, 2016
South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol smiles as he reviews the match with other Go players after finishing the final match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Google's Go-playing computer program again defeated its human opponent in the final match on Tuesday that sealed its 4:1 victory. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol smiles as he reviews the match with other Go players after finishing the final match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google’s artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Google’s Go-playing computer program again defeated its human opponent in the final match on Tuesday that sealed its 4:1 victory. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL (Yonhap) — South Korean Go master Lee Se-dol said Tuesday that he feels sad after his battle against Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) program AlphaGo ended.

Lee lost his last match against the self-learning program and surrendered the five-round Go tournament with a final score of 4-1. AlphaGo already clinched the series win and prize money of US$1 million after winning three straight games last week before Lee struck back with a victory on Sunday.

“I wanted to end the tournament with good results, but feel sad that I couldn’t do it,” he said. “(For the last match) I thought I had the advantage in the beginning, but it was my shortcomings that ended the game in a loss.”

The 33-year-old South Korean vowed that this experience against the self-learning program will make him a better player in the future.

“I want to thank all the people who supported and cheered for me,” he said. “I will become a better player.”

Lee is a ninth-dan player who went pro at the age of 12 and has won 18 international trophies. AlphaGo first made headlines last October after beating European champion Fan Hui, a second-dan player, in five consecutive matches.

Demis Hassabis, the CEO of Google DeepMind that designed AlphaGo, said that he is “speechless” about the fifth match.

“It was the most mind blowing game so far,” he said. “One of the AlphaGo’s early sequences was a mistake, but in the end, AlphaGo came back and was able to make the game close. It was really an incredible match.”

The special man-versus-computer Go tournament, organized by Google’s London-based firm DeepMind and the Korea Baduk Association (KBA), started last Wednesday in Seoul.

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