Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Chess: Computer draws with Man (via RW)
"A few of Deep Junior's moves drew laughter from the Grandmasters because they were clear signs that the program had no idea how to continue. In particular, 12.h3 and 18.a3 were the sort of moves a beginner makes because they don't mess anything up. They also make chess programmers wince visibly. Computers can't plan, of course. They must see every move in sequence, beginning from the position on the board. They cannot visualize strategic goals or fantasize about how to achieve them.

"A human can look at a position and think, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could get my knight to the b4 square? It would be very strong there, how can I make that happen?" A computer thinks, "I go there he goes there I go there he goes there I go there he goes there I go there and my evaluation goes up to 0.21." If that analysis reaches as far as achieving the human's visualization, the same end can occur by very different means. Top programs like Junior can perform that analysis so fast and evaluate the results so well that they can simulate human planning."

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