(Yicai Global) Dec. 5 -- Google LLC Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has become an honorary principal at the Nie Weiping Go Dojo.
The renowned 9-dan Go master who founded the school presented a letter of appointment to Pichai in Beijing, granting him the position.
Google said yesterday that it has teamed up with the school on its Searching for the Next Great Go Talent campaign.
The program will "hold open Go competitions for kids and young adults across China -- in hope of helping to find and nurture China's next great Go talent," the Mountain View-based tech firm said.
"Any Go player as young as four and up to the age of 18 will be able to take part," Google said. "The best players will travel to Beijing for a national contest next summer. There, they'll play for a chance to win one of more than 200 scholarships that we will fund for promising Go talent to study at the Nie school."
AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence program developed by Google's DeepMind, retired from competitive Go after beating Ke Jie, the world's top-ranked human player, in all three heats of a three-game matchup at the Future of Go Summit.
AlphaGo Zero, an update version of the Go program, learned the board game from scratch without any human input and beat its forerunner -- AlphaGo Lee -- in 100 straight matches.
AlphaGo has profoundly influenced the Go community. By observing its moves, humans have learned new tricks and broadened their vision of the game. After losing to AlphaGo, Ke won 22 matches in a row against human competitors and was deemed "half man half beast" by the media.