Game Playing

   Ever since the beginning of AI, there has been a great fascination in pitting the human expert against the computer. Game playing provided a high-visibility platform for this contest. It is important to note, however, that the performance of the human expert and the AI game-playing program reflect qualitatively different processes. More specifically, as mentioned earlier, the performance of the human expert utilizes a vast amount of domain specific knowledge and procedures. Such knowledge allows the human expert to generate a few promising moves for each game situation (irrelevant moves are never considered). In contrast, when selecting the best move, the game playing program exploits brute-force computational speed to explore as many alternative moves and consequences as possible. As the computational speed of modern computers increases, the contest of knowledge vs. speed is tilting more and more in the computers favour, accounting for recent triumphs like Deep Blue's win over Gary Kasparov.

   Readings for this section have been organised into two groups. In the first are two papers that discuss game playing in general - describing certain attempts, and certain techniques common to the area, the next two sites include an updated report on the advances in the field and a site with many different examples of AI in games. The second deal specifically with Deep Blue's success, and its implications both for AI, and for society.

Game Playing Deep Blue
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