Posted : 2016-03-14 17:06
Updated : 2016-03-14 19:41

Lee Se-dol rises to stardom

A woman films professional Go player Lee Se-dol after winning the fourth game of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match against Google's artificial intelligence program, Alpha-Go, in Seoul, Sunday. / AP-Yonhap

By Kim Se-jeong

Go grandmaster Lee Se-dol's Sunday victory over AlphaGo has caused the entire nation to cheer, and instantly catapulted Lee to stardom.

Following three consecutive losses against the AI-based player created by Google, Lee defeated AlphaGo in the fourth match.

Surprised ― or rather alarmed ― by the three previous losses, it was clear that many regarded him as fighting on behalf of all of humanity.

The 1984 James Cameron movie "The Terminator" was one of the first things that came to many people's minds.

Some called Lee "Dol Connor," referring to John Connor, a character who wages a resistance movement against Skynet, the apocalyptic AI defense network. In the film, people attempt to remove Skynet, but Skynet wages an all-out nuclear war against humans.

The cyber world has been filled with comments related to the movie: "John Connor and Lee Se-dol have saved humanity," "We have won over the machines" and "There's no time for the Terminator."

Social media also buzzed with content about the 33-year-old player.

"This made me think twice about go and Lee Se-dol. I like the way he looked when he smoked during the game," one user wrote on Facebook.

Some said they liked his high-pitched voice, which is a result of aphasia from when he was 14. Lee earlier said he hadn't received adequate treatment because he had no one to help him at that time.

Lee's attractiveness was also a gossip topic among single women ― although he's been married for 10 years.

"His thin elbows and fingers were so cute," one female wrote on a portal site, commenting on his photo from the game.

"This cute guy is also so intelligent," another wrote.

Throughout the night on Sunday, Lee was the top search keyword among single female users on Naver, the biggest portal here.

Online users are also making stories and parodies about the game and Lee. A user predicted that a book titled "Think Like AlphaGo and Challenge Like Lee Se-dol" would become a bestseller within a month.

Many also thanked Lee and wished him luck on the final game that will be played Tuesday.

"By all means, the game showed the best side of humanity, and I show my deep respect to Lee Se-dong," one Facebook user wrote.

Another said, "Although AlphaGo may win and it may develop itself more, the machine will never understand the passion which Lee showed."

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