[AI] Computers crack famous board game

Dr. Vipin Malhotra malhotravipin at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 23 22:37:55 EDT 2007

I just fail to understan,
Why group is being flooded with technology news
mindlessly without their 
immediate relevance?
Time is precious for aal! Heart surgery or mind
surgery No where near 
blindness or accessibility!
Though the situation is quite intreaguing but let us
take it mildly!!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Vikas Kapoor" <dl.vikas at gmail.com>
To: "Access India" <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 7:37 PM
Subject: [AI] Computers crack famous board game

>      Computers crack famous board game
> Game of draughts (Eyewire)
> Draughts has about 500 billion billion potential
> It could be a case of game over for draughts -
scientists say the ancient 
> board game has finally been solved.
> A Canadian team has created a computer program that
can win or draw any 
> game, no matter who the opponent is.
> It took an average of 50 computers nearly two
decades to sift through the 
> 500 billion billion possible draughts positions to
come up with the 
> solution.
> Writing in the journal Science, the team said it was
the most challenging 
> game solved to date.
> Jonathan Schaeffer, lead author on the paper and
chair of the department 
> of computer science at the University of Alberta,
Canada, told the BBC 
> News website:
> "This was a huge computational problem to solve -
more than a million 
> times bigger than anything that had ever been solved
> Trial and error
> Professor Schaeffer, who admits he is "awful" at
draughts (also known as 
> checkers), began his attempts to solve the board
game in 1989.
> He consulted champion players to find out more about
their game tactics 
> and then fed this information into a computer
program called Chinook.
> I think we've raised the bar - and raised it quite a
bit - in terms of 
> what can be achieved in computer technology and
artificial intelligence
> Professor Schaeffer
> Chinook looked at solving problems much like a human
does by using trial 
> and error to find out what appeared to be the best
solutions.  This is 
> called a
> heuristic approach.
> However, Professor Schaeffer said that although the
program was extremely 
> successful - it won the World Checkers Championship
in 1994 - it was not 
> perfect
> and occasionally lost games.
> So the computer scientists tried another
non-heuristic tack, for which, 
> over a number of years, hundreds of computers ran
through game upon game 
> of draughts
> to work out the sequences that would lead to
winning, losing and drawing.
> Eventually, the new program gathered so much
information that it "knew" 
> the best move to play in every situation. This meant
that every game it 
> played led
> to a certain win, or, if its opponent played
perfectly, a draw.
> Chess pieces
> Chess may prove more tricky to solve
> Professor Schaeffer said: "I think we've raised the
bar - and raised it 
> quite a bit - in terms of what can be achieved in
computer technology and 
> artificial
> intelligence."
> With the vast number of playing possibilities,
draughts is the most 
> complex game to have been solved to date - it was
about a million times 
> more complicated
> to solve than Connect Four.
> Researchers are now hoping to move on to even bigger
problems. However, it 
> seems that grand master of the board games - chess -
may remain unsolved 
> for
> some time.
> It has somewhere in the range of a billion billion
billion billion billion 
> possible positions, meaning that computers, with
their current capacity, 
> would
> takes aeons to solve it.
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6907018.stm
> Vikas Kapoor,
> MSN Id:dl_vikas at hotmail.com, Yahoo+Skype Id:
> Mobile: (+91) 9891098137.
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