Google DeepMind

AlphaGo AI event series

AlphaGo Challenge Match



Google DeepMind are the leading R&D company in AI (Artificial Intelligence) development.

They have been working on the irresistible challenge to AI researchers of creating a computer capable of beating a professional player at the ancient game of Go, a game of profound complexity with more possible outcomes than there are atoms in the universe.

asembl. were commissioned by Google DeepMind to stage a world-first, once in a lifetime challenge match between its revolutionary AlphaGo AI program and international Go grandmaster, Lee Sedol.

5 matches in total were to be played over a threeweek period in March 2016 in Seoul, South Korea and streamed live on DeepMind’s YouTube channel across the globe.


Google DeepMind set us an incredible challenge to create a research-based event worthy of worldwide interest that would create a historical milestone in AI development and change the perception of AI behaviour and capability.

The client also wanted to use the event to increase awareness of Go, a Chinese board game that has captivated players for over 2,500 years. In a game of profound complexity, more possible positions exist than there are atoms in the universe.

With an incalculable number of potential moves, its complexity demands intuition, calculation and, for Google, algorithmic learning based on the match play experience. With an event of this magnitude, there were multiple technical and logistical challenges involved to make sure the event was a success. To create awareness of the capabilities of AI technology, we were going to stream the event live across YouTube. This bought a variety of technical difficulties that would need to be overcome.


asembl. were responsible for every element of staging the AlphaGo event, including managing communications in London, South Korea & US. As part of the brief, we were required to find a venue in South Korea willing to allow use of their facilities for a month’s exclusive.hire, while under a press embargo. After conducting site locations across Seoul we decided on the new Four Seasons.

We designed and created the technical framework, including adding multiple internet lines (only possible with Google partners who held global agreements), hiring camera operators and installing four miles of cabling for live streams. Ensuring the technical capabilities were in place to enable the live streams across YouTube was imperative to this event’s main objective: creating awareness of the Chinese board game, Go and sparking worldwide interest in the capabilities of AI.

A comprehensive security plan was created due to the event’s high-profile nature and duration.
We managed all marketing collateral, extending to thousands of printed components, sourced through local printers and all press and PR for the event inhouse.

We also worked with Google to manage all onsite activities, including registration, room booking, travel arrangements, etc.

Organised a gala dinner, including seating plans, menus, and entertainment for 150 VIP guests, including high profile VIP stakeholders who required specialist management and care throughout the event. We also provided stage, set, sound and lighting. Controlled all live aspects of the event, including filming and production, coordinating with Google teams to broadcast within South Korea, liaison with local TV companies and working with Google and YouTube to live stream the event worldwide. The use of YouTube and the creation of a Twitter hashtag were essential components in getting the amplification this event needed outside of the host country. In total we were in the country for a month, showing commitment, meticulous planning and operations that went into creating a platform for DeepMind to make history, making this ground-breaking event such a success.


Demis Hassibis Co-Founder and CEO of DeepMind Twitter followers increased from 2,000 to over 35k followers during the event

400 press and media were in attendance per match

35,000 published articles

7.5m Twitter Impressions

280m reached through worldwide live streams

6.8m Social Media Reach

Sales of the game Go increased ten-fold

Sundance Film Festival

CIT Award and Event Award Winners


I just wanted to write you a quick note to say a huge thank you for an absolutely incredible effort and the flawless delivery of the AlphaGo event. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will go down in history. Thanks for playing such a vital part in making it happen, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Google DeepMind