The New Chess Master

I wanted to choose an individual theme and stick to it for at least a week. So, here it is. Chess.

Wouldn’t that be something. I’m usually pretty good at creating filler content; but honestly, how could anyone talk about chess for a week.

The actual topic that I will be actively researching whilst creating relevant blogs about is artificial intelligence. It’s a concept that I’ve mentioned a few times and it’s something that I’ve desperately wanted to explore further. So, join me on my journey as I indulge in machine learning, neural networks, image recognition, and more exciting applications of AI.

I’ll start with the actual reason that I’ve named this blog as I did. Some would say that 1996 was the beginning of AI; it marked the year when an intelligent computer did the impossible. Deep Blue – IBM’s project child – had defeated the world renowned chess master, Garry Kasparov.

The feat was incredible, but there were many concerns. Many people thought that the computer could have been specifically programmed for each movement. That’s a valid point, until you realize the sophistication of chess. The first move of a chess game creates 400 possible board setups. The second creates approximately 200,000 setups. The third creates 141 million. You can see where this is going, right?

To further prove the theory that computers can become intelligent, Google created an AI that challenged world champion, Ka Jei, at a game of Go. As you can guess, the AI won. Don’t even get me started on the complexity of Go.

The only way these feats were possible was because the machines were actually learning. The machines started by playing chess at an infant’s level, but as it continued to play the game – most of the time with itself – it would become better at it.

I’ll be diving more into the process of how these machines do what they do. So, I hope you enjoyed the read because there’s a whole lot more to come!