• Demis Hassabis on a press conference at the Google DeepMind Challenge Match.

Demis Hassabis on a press conference at the Google DeepMind Challenge Match. (Photo : Getty Images)

The top executives of Google met with the best Go players from China last Tuesday on the headquarters of the Chinese Go Association.

The meeting was attended by Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, Alphabet's President Sergey Brin, head of the Chinese Go team Yu Bin, and one of Go's world champion Nie Weiping.

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The visit's agenda is to put Google's AlphaGo back in the spotlight. This follows last month's announcement from DeepMind's founder Demis Hassabis that AlphaGo will resume playing early next year.

AlphaGo is a computer program developed by Google DeepMind to play the board game Go, which is very popular in Korea, Japan and China.

It is said to be the first computer Go program to beat a professional Go player without setting up handicaps on a full-sized 19x19 board. It has won a five-game Go match against Lee Sedol, the 18-time world champion from Korea.

AlphaGo's victory received very positive responses from the AI community and the Go community. Most observers expected Lee to beat AlphaGo. The victory of the computer program marks a major milestone in artificial intelligence research, and a proof that the scientific community is making progress toward artificial general intelligence.

Top Go players said that AlphaGo seems to have original moves on the game that it created by itself, which initially befuddled onlookers, but it made sense in hindsight.

Ke Jie, the top-ranked Go player worldwide, stated that he might not be able to beat the computer program after analyzing the first three matches between Lee and AlphaGo.

Ke was unfortunately not present on the meeting due to a professional game that he attended in Guizhou. After he won the Samsung Cup World Open Baduk Championship on Dec. 8, Ke said that he thinks he can beat AlphaGo now, but he will need more practice.

Hassabis didn't reveal details of the meeting regarding against whom and where AlphaGo will play next.