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Artificial Intelligence: July 20, 2007

That Intelligent Checkers Game

There are 500,995,484,682,338,672,639 possible different checkers play positions and a computer program, called "Chinook", knows them all. If you play your game perfectly the best possible outcome against the computer is a draw. You can never win.

Chinook was developed by scientists at the University of Alberta who used an average of 50 computers for two years (876,000 computational hours) to determine the best move to play in every situation of a game.

The leader of the team described the feat this way:

"We've taken the knowledge used in artificial intelligence applications to the extreme by replacing human-understandable heuristics [rules of thumb] with perfect knowledge. It's an exciting demonstration of the possibilities that software and hardware are now capable of achieving."
The assembled knowledgebase of checkers combinations is rather impressive but don't you find it somewhat ironic that the strictly deterministic algorithm, with "perfect knowledge", is called "intelligent"? Leading up to this pinnacle, algorithms were created to mimic human thought by employing heuristics, Bayesian networks, expert systems and other automated inference engines.

The perfect checkers AI, as it turns out, does not learn, adapt, reason, comprehend relationships or produce original solutions. Although useful, it was built via bruit force to be an omniscient knowledgebase that it is entirely predictable.

You can get beat by Chinock here

Proverbs 15:14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.

Posted by tim at July 20, 2007 11:18 PM




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