According to a report by Hankyoreh, a Korean daily journal, internet users created ‘memes’, funny images accompanied with even funnier captions and parody images to celebrate the victory of man over artificial intelligence(AI).
After losing the first three matches, the pivotal moment in the fourth match came with Lee’s placement of the 78th stone, a move that proved to be instrumental in his victory. After Lee placed the 180th stone, AlphaGo threw in the towel, as a popup message saying ‘AlphaGo resigns’ appeared on the screen.
The match inspired many to created funny but witty memes, most of them indicating that AI will attack Lee to take revenge for his victory. One of the images captioned ‘Lee going home from work today’ shows an image of robots smashing the car that Lee is driving.
The movie ‘Terminator’ could not be excluded from the event. Captioned ‘Google employees look for Lee’, ‘T-1000’, the robot from Terminator 2 that comes from the future to kill future human leader John Connor, is depicted holding Lee’s photo and asking people about his whereabouts.
Memes comparing AI and humans were also popular. After AlphaGo’s stunning series of victories continued for days, many focused on the qualities Lee has as a ‘human’, qualities which will always make people superior to AI. One particularly popular image depicts Lee having a cup of coffee during the match with AlphaGo, with the caption, “AlphaGo – 1202 CPUs, 176 GPUs, 100+ Scientists”, “Lee Se-dol – 1 Human Brain, 1 Coffee”. While AlphaGo needed 1202 CPUs (central processing units), 176 GPUs (graphic processing units), and more than 100 scientists to play the match, all Lee needs is his brain and a cup of coffee.
In addition, the phrase ‘AlphaGo resigns’, which appeared on screen when the AI acknowledged its defeat, drew the attention of many. ‘Resign’, the English word meaning ‘to stand down from a position’, ‘quit’, or ‘give up’, was one of the most searched for words on the portal sites Daum and Naver.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)