March 13, 2016 7:57 am
Updated: March 13, 2016 7:59 am

Human Go champion scores 1st win over machine after 3 losses

South Korean professional Go player Lee Sedol, center, arrives for the fourth match of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, March 13, 2016. Google's Go-playing software defeated a human champion for the third straight time Saturday to clinch the best-of-five series and establish its superiority in an ancient Chinese chess-like game long thought to be the realm of humans.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of – A champion Go player scored his first win over Go-playing computer software on Sunday after losing three straight times in the ancient Chinese game.

Lee Sedol’s victory over AlphaGo served as a reminder that Google’s Go-playing program is not perfect and has room for improvement. Lee had said that he lost earlier games because he could not find any weaknesses in AlphaGo’s strategy.

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AlphaGo — the first computer system to defeat a top Go player — had already clinched the best-of-five series and the $1 million prize, which will be donated to charity. The artificial intelligence computer program was developed by Google DeepMind two years ago.

READ MORE: Google’s software beats human Go champion in first match

South Korean commentators could not hide their excitement three hours into the match when it became clear that Lee would finally notch a win. AlphaGo narrowed the gap with Lee, but could not upset the match, resigning nearly five hours into the game.

Go fans whose pride was crushed by the earlier defeats cheered the result.

Prior to the series, Go fans, many of them in Asia, believed that the game would prove too complex for the machine to master.

Because there are near-infinite board positions in Go and top players heavily rely on intuition, the popular Asian board game has remained the holy grail for the artificial intelligence community for about two decades, after chess was conquered by computers.

In Go, two players take turns putting black or white stones on a 19 lines-by-19 lines grid. The goal is to put more territory under one’s control by surrounding vacant areas with the stones.

WATCH: World’s foremost Go player Lee Sedol prepares to face off against computer adversary

© 2016 The Associated Press

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