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Chess Terminator Robot Takes On Former World Champ

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the robots-control-you dept.

Classic Games (Games) 63

Zothecula writes with this excerpt from Gizmag: "For almost as long as we've had computers, humans have been trying to make ones that play chess. The most famous chess-playing computer of course is IBM's Deep Blue, which in 1997 defeated the then World Champion Garry Kasparov. But as powerful as Deep Blue was, it didn't actually move the chess pieces on its own. Perhaps that's a trivial task in comparison to beating the best chess player of all time, but it's still exciting to discover this recent video of a chess robot that more closely fits the true definition of a chess automaton." My favorite part: "Note that around the 2:45 mark Kramnik extends his hand offering a draw, but the robot – since it's not fitted with any kind of optical device – just keeps playing, very nearly taking off Kramnik's hand in the process!"

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63 comments

Not fitted with any optical device? (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34291986)

Oh, it is.

It just doesn't understand surrendering. Terminators take no prisoners.

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292044)

Castle me if you want to live!

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293976)

Get tuh tha E-7 Squhare! NAO!

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (1)

jianan4115 (1925758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34303884)

yes, Buy final fantasy XIV gold [final-fantasy-14-gil.com]

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (1)

pinkj (521155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292084)

I wonder how well it would do in blindfolded chess?

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292132)

It needs a kinect!

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292336)

But to truly stop the human chess resistance, the robots will have tog o back in time and stop Bobby Fischer from ever being born...

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292548)

What do schizophrenic anti-Semites have to do with anything? He lost any respect I may have had for him when he refused to play Judit Polgar because she's Jewish.

Re:Not fitted with any optical device? (2, Funny)

hawk (1151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293208)

Given the reaction to the offered draw, it seems to be quite familiar with the Wookie Gambit . . .

In soviet Russia (1)

bgweber (1676858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292032)

Chess plays you!

Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 (0)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292048)

I will be impressed when they make a cyborg--a cybernetic organism. Something along the lines of a Cyberdyne Systems Model 101.

[the Terminator arrives naked and encounters some chess masters]

Chess Master Leader: Nice night for a game, eh?

The Terminator: Nice night for a game.

Chess Master Leader: Wash day tomorrow? Nothing clean, right?

The Terminator: Nothing clean. Right.

Chess Master Leader: Hey, I think this guy's a couple pawns short of a eight-pack.

The Terminator: Your clothes... give them to me, now.

Chess Master Leader: Your move, asshole!

The Terminator: [looks around, examining the structural integrity of the room, then looks back at him] I'll be back!

Re:Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292840)

horrendous attempt at humor.

Re:Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293202)

> I will be impressed when they make a cyborg

Yes, but not as much as you now think you will be - it is more likely to be an evolution than a revolution; it'll just be the amalgam of gradual advances in a dozen different fields.

It will still be a great thing, of course - the first fully functional synthetic organism; but we'll be more prepared for it than we'll ever be for first contact, for instance.

Re:Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34293512)

The Terminator: [looks around, examining the structural integrity of the room, then looks back at him] I'll be back!

WOPR: Wouldn't you prefer a good game of chess?

Terminator: Fuck you, Joshua.

Why extend a hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292062)

Why did the player extend their hand to the machine? Did they really expect it to recognize that? Plus, what was the player intending to grasp? That seems like very bizarre behavior given the context.

Re:Why extend a hand? (3, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292230)

Kramnik decided to try and confuse the robot by putting a pawn between two squares, which seemed to work (the robot did nothing). He then fixed the location of the pawn and reset the timer. When the robot still didn't respond after a few seconds, he reached out to touch it and it started playing again.

=Smidge=

Re:Why extend a hand? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293060)

Yeah, it was obvious he was primarily interested in the mechanics of how the robot arm interacted with the board and pieces, as opposed to seriously competing against the controlling computer's logic. He sacrificed a number of pieces to trivial captures by the computer's pawns for no reason at all.

I also thought the arm was moving unnecessarily fast, especially considering it apparently doesn't have any avoidance sensors.

Re:Why extend a hand? (1)

ruffled (1176397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294770)

"Note that around the 2:45 mark Kramnik extends his hand offering a draw...".

=Smidge=

i think the fact that Kramnik offered his hand probably shows that the computer is the most human-like chess player theyve achieved to date (human symbolic gesture)

Re:Why extend a hand? (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294836)

I don't know who you were quoting but I never said that.

It's obvious that he's reaching out to grab or push the robot, since it had not moved for some time. He was not trying to shake hands with it.

=Smidge=

Re:Why extend a hand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34294908)

Notice current world number one Magnus Carlson in the blue jacket in quiet observation. Probably because everybody's speaking Russian.

Deep blue cheated (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292064)

When Garry played Deep Blue, it was understood that no parameters of the machine would be changed during game play. That turned out not to be the case, as the IBM programmers were tweaking things behind the scenes.

Had Garry known this, he might have played differently, not expecting the machine to make new/different moves than it had previously made, etc.

Re:Deep blue cheated (2, Interesting)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292302)

When Garry played Deep Blue, it was understood that no parameters of the machine would be changed during game play. That turned out not to be the case, as the IBM programmers were tweaking things behind the scenes.

While it would certainly be more impressive for Deep Blue to beat Gasparov unaided, it's still pretty impressive to beat him even with the aid of a programmer, unless that programmer happens to be a chess champion himself :).

Had Garry known this, he might have played differently, not expecting the machine to make new/different moves than it had previously made, etc.

What do you meant by "new" moves? The same piece is unlikely to be in the same spot many times in a single match, so the majority of moves are inevitably going to be "new" in a given match.

Did you perhaps mean "strategies"?

Re:Deep blue cheated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292344)

Actually, the tweaks were done by several international masters. That game proved more that a team of high level players and a computer can beat one of the best chess players of all time.

Re:Deep blue cheated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292590)

Except if theres a programmer behind the scenes tweaking Deep Blue mid-match, the game is inherently forfeit. You didn't see Kasparov with his chess mentors/partners whispering in his ear on how he should tweak his strategies do you?

Re:Deep blue cheated (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295616)

It's flat out silly what they did.

The whole damned man versus machine thing isn't about, can a man calculate more than a machine? We already know the answer to that. The question is, can a machine beat a man at chess?

The answer was no, unless you have some humans fiddling with stuff behind the curtains. I'm fairly confident that a hybrid/cyborg setup can beat a human, because it's combining both of them.

Anyway, was damned cheesy, mostly in the way it was presented. It was also cheesy because what Kasparov was told was factually incorrect.

Re:Deep blue cheated (1)

A1rmanCha1rman (885378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296766)

A few observing grand masters at the time remarked that Gary was not trying to beat Deep Blue, but to crush it, and this probably was his undoing...

Re:Deep blue cheated (2, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292396)

I never saw any evidence that the parameters were changed during games. In between games yes, which I don't see a problem with.

Re:Deep blue cheated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34293336)

"In between games" that constituted the six game 1997 match, with the ultimate winning of the match deciding which party will be called victor.

The match rules allowed for this, so we can't say Garry didn't know. That said, they did diddle with the machine during the match, which has always made the claim of victory hollow to me. It lowered the bar. That it was a lowering which Garry agreed to, doesn't matter.

Re:Deep blue cheated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292440)

It's not just that he could have played differently. If they were tweaking it then Deep Blue was using human input to play which is not what the contest was about at all. Any sort of tweaking by humans meant they were having an influence on how the games were going (whether it was tweaked by programmers, chess masters, or whatever makes no difference; although I believe the tweaking was done by other master chess players). That's messed up. They should not have been allowed to touch the machine at all, not in between games and certainly not during any games.

Re:Deep blue cheated (1)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295126)

IBM were allowed to make changes between games, and there's no evidence that any tweaking was done during a single game.

Re:Deep blue cheated (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296816)

When Garry played Deep Blue, it was understood that no parameters of the machine would be changed during game play. That turned out not to be the case, as the IBM programmers were tweaking things behind the scenes.

Had Garry known this, he might have played differently, not expecting the machine to make new/different moves than it had previously made, etc.

"it was understood" means someone assumed and didn't ask.

Kramnik offers draw, robot keeps playing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292114)

In other words, Kramnik wins.

Game ended in a draw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292138)

It looked like the human player quit. That is no draw in my book.

lets hope they can pull the plug (1)

tp_xyzzy (1575867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292150)

Robot playing chess is one thing, but what will happen if you cannot make it stop playing games. We wouldnt want any more chess moves. Rules of chess need to be only slightly wrong and it keeps playing infinitely.

Rock 'em Sock 'em (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292208)

Cool, let's put two of these up against each other.

but he only built the arm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292228)

insert obilgatory big bang theory quote.

Frustrating (1)

peslick (963381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292280)

It must be annoying to have devoted a big part of your life to playing chess, only to have someone say "Well, we built this robot who can kick your ass in five minutes." I think when robots are better at my job than I could be, I would start to question the meaning of my life. Its worthy of an Ishiguro novel, or I guess, under the circumstances, a Dostoevsky.

Re:Frustrating (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292328)

Interesting.

If a robot was better at my job than I could be, my solution would be to consider buying a robot....

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292698)

Yeah, but why would your wage be enough to buy a robot who can earn your wage? Why would the original owner sell it when he could just sell its' services and put you out of the market?

Re:Frustrating (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292934)

The economic problem is not the central problem of mankind. Why should economics stand in the way of a utopia where we have more leisure time to solve unsolved problems? Govt can create money (like banks do), but since govt is mandated to help its citizens govt can give it to ppl debt-free so that we can work on creating robots to automate the jobs we don't want to do!

Re:Frustrating (1)

oncebitter (894257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34310782)

It sounds like a good idea, but what do you do when the robots become sentient and spend all day browsing Slashdot instead of working?

Re:Frustrating (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292376)

I think when robots are better at my job than I could be, I would start to question the meaning of my life.

If so, you should have questioned your life's meaning a long time ago. I think people impart far too much importance to things they can do.

Tonight, go outside and look up at the beautiful starry sky and contemplate the size of the Universe. Then, consider the fact: We are only important to ourselves; This entire planet could disappear right now and it would not matter significantly to the rest of the Universe, save one lonely Jedi on Tatooine.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Achra (846023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292692)

Tonight, go outside and look up at the beautiful starry sky and contemplate the size of the Universe. Then, consider the fact: We are only important to ourselves; This entire planet could disappear right now...

I can one-up this: Each and every individual is only important to themselves. Everyone is out for number 1. Oh, you think that people care about you, that they worry about you, etc... But that is not actually the case. They care about the relationship that they have with you. If you blink out of their world, it is their relationship with you that blinks out with it.. and that is the part they are concerned about. Not the actual YOU. One of the greatest ironies of our society is that everyone is out for number 1, even when they're helping other people. When people are happiest, they _appear_ to care about other people more.. but they actually care about them less. and when they are at their lowest, they _appear_ to care about other people less.. but they actually care about them more.

Re:Frustrating (1)

wwfarch (1451799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34303244)

If everyone is ultimately only concerned about themselves how do you explain concern and worry for a complete stranger? Take the massive outpouring of sympathy and help for people hurt by natural disasters. Most people donating their time and money have no connection whatsoever with the people they are helping yet they still feel concern.

Automation - the silent conquest (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292778)

I think when robots are better at my job than I could be, I would start to question the meaning of my life.

In the 1980s, there was an article in Chess Life: "Computer Chess - It's Getting Serious". This was when computers started playing chess well enough that grandmasters had to take them seriously. One strong player wrote "I'm starting to feel like John Henry against the steam hammer" [wikipedia.org] . Now it's happened. Any good desktop machine can be loaded up with software that plays at world champion level [rybkachess.com] for about $125. (If you haven't been on the cover of Chess Life, a laptop will be enough to trounce you.) People are still playing chess.

Work, though, is another matter. What's happening is the hollowing out of the middle class. There are more crap jobs that pay minimum wage, but fewer ones that pay more. Manufacturing used to pay well; now it pays slightly above minimum wage, if that. That's because the machines are doing the thinking. The workers are just robot hands with minimal skills.

Here's a very clear example of that - The Kiva robotic order fulfillment system. [youtube.com] Watch that video. Hundreds of cooperating mobile robots. All the thinking and planning is done by the computers. The workers just take things out of one tray and put them in a box. The computers even control a laser pointer to point to the object they're supposed to pick. Then a bar-code scanner checks that they did it right. "Requires little or no operator training". Zero opportunity for advancement.

Re:Automation - the silent conquest (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295610)

Here's a very clear example of that - The Kiva robotic order fulfillment system. [youtube.com]

Wow! In the past, the human made the decisions and the robot was just a dumb tool, repeating movements ad nauseam. In the future, the robot makes the decisions and the human is just a dumb tool, repeating movements ad nauseam.

Re:Automation - the silent conquest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34295644)

The guy talking in that Kiva video... Is that the MySQL guy from xtranormal.com?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr6Rco5A9SM
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6995033/

Re:Frustrating (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292988)

Well, there are limited options on a chess game. You just have 64 positions and 32 pieces, there's a limited number of plays. That makes easy for a computer to beat humans. The game is nearly deterministic, no randomness as in poker.

Creativity is what makes the difference. If you watched the video, I think the most interesting part was when he moved a pawn halfway, that's when the robot got somewhat stuck and almost went for his hand. Chess is a basic imitation of war games, but in real life, there's not only 64 positions and 32 pieces, and that's where creativity plays the role. This guy may have played all his life and be very good at it, but I don't think that's the only thing he does well.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293492)

Well, there are limited options on a chess game. You just have 64 positions and 32 pieces, there's a limited number of plays. That makes easy for a computer to beat humans. The game is nearly deterministic, no randomness as in poker.

Just because there is a limited number of options because of rules on movement etcetera, that doesn't mean that this limited number of plays isn't a bloody huge number beyond the capacity of most computers. Imagine the starting position of a chess game: white has 20 moves, and black has the same 20 moves. That is already 400 combinations, after only 1 move. In the next move, there are a few more options because a bishop can escape, say 25 options, same for black. That's a quarter of a million possibilities after only 2 moves.

Besides, brute force doesn't get you far. There is the "horizon problem", where a chess computer thinking x moves ahead, will keep pushing back threats until they are x+1 moves away, only to reappear on the horizon in the very next move. It takes more than brute force to work around that.

Yes, i guess you could call chess deterministic, but perhaps not, given the huge number of possibilities. And since you make the comparison with poker... I dare to guess that there are more possible chess games than poker games, given a limit on the amount of money involved.

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34309194)

While I agree that there are lots of variants. Chess has been long analyzed, and there are certain openings well know to provide advantage, which reduces those 20 movements (so while you still have 20 possible opening movements, the likelihood of winning is reduced by for example starting with a bishop's pawn instead of the king's). By proper analysis of the different variants, and using book plays, you can dramatically increase the chances of winning by always making the move that most likely limits the opponents movements and puts you in advantage. Now, my reference to poker on the other hand refers to the randomness implied. If among the possible 20 opening movements, the computer chooses one at random then there's more chances of beating the computer. But since there's always a more advantageous play with no randomness implied, I'd say that it's harder to beat the computer.

You have to understand (3, Funny)

voss (52565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292288)

These chess terminators they dont feel pity, or fear , or remorse and they absolutely will not stop until you are checkmated!

Epoclick.com (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292454)

Is anyone else getting re-directed to Epoclick.com after clicking the link in this story?

A few days ago, sometimes when I click on a link, I get sent to Epoclick.com in a popup window. This has only been happening with Slashdot and links going to gizmodo or gizmag and only on this laptop. I can't figure out which website is to blame, or if maybe I have a virus or malicious javascript code running.

Re:Epoclick.com (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293266)

Uninstall windows, replace with Ubuntu.

Don't look at the man behind the keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292552)

just don't look

Pretty good to hold Kramnik to a draw (1)

ex0duz (903649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34292804)

It was a drawn position, with the computer starting to shuffle the bishop back and forth. No point playing on. It did pretty well to hold Kramnik to a draw playing almost instantaneously.. engines usually play sub par moves at those kinds of speeds in my experience.. well it would still kick my ass, but this is Kramnik he's playing. Kramniks a machine himself. Also worth noting is i think Kramnik made a joke after he tried to trade off queens and the machine refused it. Kramnik is notorious for playing awesome in otherwise dry, queenless positions. Just ask Kasparov :p

Kudos (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34292876)

In fact, just finding and moving chess pieces around with a robot is orders of magnitude harder than playing the game of chess. We humans are just adapted towards these kinds of things (moving around in a 3D environment and manipulating objects) that it comes very easy to us, and we don't view it as a "hard" problem -- so when we see a game like chess, we think it is "hard" because we don't do it automatically. For a computer, which is well adapted for crunching numbers and doing logic, chess comes very naturally, while navigating a 3D environment and manipulating objects is not.

However, I can see that this robot is just a simple Denso manipulator without any perception, which makes the task significantly easier. But if you turned the chess board just 20 degrees to the right, it would utterly fail to continue playing chess, while the human would easily be able to adapt. Even if you provided sensors to the robot, that kind of change in its environment would be absurdly difficult for the robot to deal with.

Hardly a Terminator Robot (1)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 3 years ago | (#34293608)

When I read the headline I was hoping someone finally made a Chess Boxing [wikipedia.org] robot.

Video (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294080)

English translation please? Also, what is with the pauses with clicks like camera shutters?

Start running if it says (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 3 years ago | (#34294210)

"Is your name Vladimir Kramnik?" when you open the game.

Computers... (1)

incubbus13 (1631009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34295418)

The computers are beating Communists at chess now, next thing you know they'll be beating humans.

K.

The AAAI Robotic Chess competition (1)

supersat (639745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34296004)

Yawn. This robot has nothing on the competitors at this year's AAAI robotic chess competition. Check out a video of them here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ0Hx04KFCg [youtube.com] . The main difference is that the robot featured in this post uses an instrumented chess board while those at the AAAI competition had to use computer vision and work with a variety of off-the-shelf chess pieces and board.

The first robot shown actually has the same RGB-D sensor that the Microsoft Kinect has and it won't move if there's a hand over the board.

Anonymous Coward George (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34296498)

Let any ONE of the people who programmed the robot play the chess master and win. That would probably not happen. It's such a mockery of human potential, to program a machine to perform and call the result a defeat of a human mind. So pathetic and miserable. Each defeat of a chess grand master by a robot is the combined effort of many people programming an assembly of materials. Nothing more. Or less. I love this slashdot entity, but don't generally register for any such thing. Thanks for reading.

the Mechanical Turk (1)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34299166)

Nothing new, the Mechanical Turk did it already more than 200 years ago.
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