China blocks online broadcast of computer go match

Spectators watch a video screen as Go player Ke Jie plays a match against Google's artificial intelligence program, AlphaGo, during the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Ke Jie, the world's top-ranked Go player, started a three-round showdown on Tuesday against AlphaGo, which beat a South Korean Go master in a five-round showdown last year. (AP Photo/Peng Peng)

BEIJING (AP) – Internet users outside China watched a computer defeat its national go champion, but few Chinese web surfers could see it.

Censors blocked access to Tuesday’s online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in a town west of Shanghai during a forum on artificial intelligence.

The event got little coverage from Chinese newspapers and broadcasters, suggesting they might have received orders to avoid mentioning Google, which closed its China-based search engine in 2010 in a dispute over censorship and computer hacking.

The official response to the game, a major event for go and artificial intelligence, reflects the conflict between the ruling Communist Party’s technology ambitions and its insistence on controlling what its public can see, hear and read.

 

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