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Brain vs. Computer: Place Your Bets

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the 20-on-the-computer dept.

Games 325

dev_null_ziggy writes: "CNN reports that the current chess guru is going up against a supercomputer, amusingly titled 'Deep Fritz.' The match is scheduled for October, and the current champion, Vladimir Kramnik, stands to win $1 Million dollars if he wins. Of course, since he'll be snagging $800k for a draw, and $600k for a loss ... I'll give two to one odds on the machine."

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worst game of 'fritz' ever... (3, Informative)

andi75 (84413) | more than 13 years ago | (#2109718)

This game is *hilarious*. I can't imagine what Kramnik will do to the poor machine :-)

This game clearly shows how stupid computers really are. For your amusement:

White: L. Van Wely, Black: Fritz SSS; played in Rotterdamn 2000

1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 0-0 7.e4 a6 8.a4 d6 9.d3 Bg4?! 10.f3 Bd7 11.Ne2 Qc8?! 12.h3 b6 13.f4 Be6? 14.f5 Bd7 15.g4 Ne8 16.Ng3 Qd8 17.g5 Bc8 18.h4 f6 19.Qh5 Na5 20.Ra3 Qe7 21.Nf1! Nc6 22.Ne3 Qd7 23.g6 h6 24.Ng4 Ra7 25.Rg1! 1-0

it's mine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2110453)

all mine - goo arn

Egg Eating Contest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2111284)

Cool Hand Luke - 50 eggs.

Deep Fritz - 1/2 egg squished through floppy slot.

Is that in US currency? (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111286)

600k to throw a chess match? And a million to win?!
Jesus, I'm in the wrong fucking line of work.

Re:Is that in US currency? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2111169)

No sir! Is in Russian ruble! 600k ruble enough for Extra Value Meal! If he win, he also get Super Size Fries! Yessir!

-- Dmitry Sklyarov

Re:Is that in US currency? (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 13 years ago | (#2110820)

LOL, who let you out of prison?
Back you go! The Linux movement still needs its martyr of the week. ;)

mod me down niggers (-1, Flamebait)

JeromeyKesyer (463790) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111792)

jews do it too please i want to get a -3 fucking faggots! -1 informative, please

Cock smooching moderators (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 13 years ago | (#2112660)

Would you assholes quit moderating me up? I'm at least trying to stay below the -100 mark. You're fucking it up for me. :P

ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2112662)

can they give me $50 if I stay awake for the whole match?

That will be with "long" matches? (2)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 13 years ago | (#2112850)

I seem to remember (correct me if I'm wrong) that the Deep Blue-Kasparov match was played with "fast" matches, allowing less time than normal championship "long" matches. I had the idea no computer had been created that could beat a Grand Master human in a "long" match.

The article says nothing about that. Anybody knows something about it?

--

Re:That will be with "long" matches? (1)

dersen (145311) | more than 13 years ago | (#2110083)

Deep Blue - Kasparov was played with standard "long" matches. This Deep Fritz vs. Kramnik match is also played with standard time, but I believe Kramnik is allowed to rest every 5 or 6 hour of play.

Re:That will be with "long" matches? (2, Interesting)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115772)

>played with "fast" matches, allowing less time
>than normal championship "long" matches.

The match was fast in the sense that few games
were played, but Kasparov was allowed the full
thinking time.

>I had the idea no computer had been created that
>could beat a Grand Master human in a "long"
>match.

Those have existed for quite a while now. Most top
programs have no problems with 'weak' GrandMasters
(sub 2600 ELO rating) even at long timecontrols.

--
GCP

Re:That will be with "long" matches? (2)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 13 years ago | (#2138170)

Thanks for the info! :o)

I will then forget chess and learn "Go", that will give me some breathing space before the computers start winning at that too ;o)

Why Chess? (1)

Runt-Abu (471363) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115773)

I have no idea why chess is always used as the basis for competition, it's not exactly the most intresting or even inventive game.

So here's my suggestions for some games that computers should be taught to play.

* Kerplunk - "Logic" and skill required, also would mean your 6 year old has a chance of winning.

* Diplomacy - Cunning and backstabbing should be part of the standard COE build by now.

* Quake - For no other reason then the irony of a computer playing a computer game.

* Skeet shooting - More a sport but let's see how good those motion trackers really are...

Re:Why Chess? (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115123)

I'd think that chess is generally chosen because you can just calculate best moves based on a scoring system, and because trees of move sequences are relatively easy to calculate. (Note that I said "easy", not "quick".) There is also a logical and strategical element to it, which you can exploit in your code if you're feeling ambitious.

As for playing Quake, surely that's exactly what all Quake bots do? "All" you'd have to do would be to write a mod that allowed a bot to play the single player game, instead of the multiplayer game, and see how well it did.

Cheers,

Tim

Re:Why Chess? (2)

iapetus (24050) | more than 13 years ago | (#2127597)

But that's exactly why chess is so uninteresting. It generally boils down to a question of making a better brute force algorithm. Other games are far more interesting from an AI perspective - Bridge is a very good one to look at.

One of the most interesting AI players I've seen in recent years is the Angband borg, which plays the roguelike game Angband with a relatively high level of skill (although it's far too much of a coward for my liking...)

No Contest At All (1)

BlenderHead-2001 (512595) | more than 13 years ago | (#2117197)

There is no contest at all, the brain wins. However in this particular game the computer has the advantage. First of all let's go over how it operates. The computer takes a brute force/god's eye view of the game, using rules it creates a set of all possible moves and recursively evaluates these sets of possible moves until it finds a winning condition. This is really easy to program, I can do it so can you the only thing we don't have is a massively parallel supercomputer kicking around to evaluate 21 moves in advance every second for us. What makes the computer better than a brain in this domain is that the rules are known so the game is finite - it's a combination problem, a set of all possible states exists.
But, this isn't how the brain operates. A brain on the other hand deals with incomplete, unknown or outright false information and must construct a system that operates without knowing the rules or even what information is even relevant to solving a problem. The problem with the real world is that it is chaotic - the combination of problems grows in such a way that to evaluate all possible combinations for even one move would take more time than has already passed since the big bang. I'm exaggerating a little with the previous sentence but it is the central issue. So to deal with this influx of information the brain has to find ways to reduce the sensory information into important features which can then be used to drive higher order logics (in the AI sense, not mathematical sense). Strategies for condensing raw information include Baysian logic [bayesian.org] , Fuzzy logic [www.abo.fi] , and Common sense [cyc.com] . The greatest area of research in the future is in extending Cyc, with something not quite like Expert Systems [gise.org] but along the same lines - contextual knowledge. Contextual knowledge is simply constraining the possible choices from moment to moment by following scripts or stories. An example might be 'How to make a cup of coffee'.
So to sum it up, yeah it can beat me at chess but ask it to make me a cup of coffee and I win :)

How big a library ? (4, Informative)

jneves (448063) | more than 13 years ago | (#2119090)

One of the tricks of 'Deep Blue' was a library with every game of chess played at the master level in the last century. That's what made it play like a human. Kasparov lost the first game because of an error in his training, he prepared himself to play with a machine and got an almost human player.

The biggest advantage of the machine in this kind of games is that it's more difficult for it to make a mistake. I don't know what is the depth of moves that the machine can calculate, but someone at the level Kramnik can usually "see" 10 moves ahead. Then an error screws up everuthing. How long until we get a computer capable of doing this kind of search ? Then we could really see a computer playing a game completly different from a human, and winning ?

Re:How big a library ? (3, Informative)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111285)

>One of the tricks of 'Deep Blue' was a library
>with every game of chess played at the master
>level in the last century. That's what made it
>play like a human.

And Kasparov simply sidestepped this by making
some seldomly played moves at the start. You
can see it easily by looking at the games. The
machines opening play was all but human.

>Kasparov lost the first game because of an error
>in his training, he prepared himself to play with
>a machine and got an almost human player.

It was still a machine, but just with a lot more
chessknowledge and tactical speed than anything
else at that time. He was expecting something
like Fritz (literally!) and got something much
more powerfull.

--
GCP

Deep Thought (3, Funny)

Jedi Binglebop (204665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2121637)

Deep Thought could beat Deep Fritz and Deep Blue with Marvin tied behind his back! (So there!)

-JB.

----
There is no .sig

Re:Deep Thought (1)

BlenderHead-2001 (512595) | more than 13 years ago | (#2127706)

I think the answer was actually 43 but a rounding error made it 42.

Deep Blue vs. Deep Fritz (5, Informative)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2121965)

It's interesting that the programmer of Deep
Fritz (Franz Morsch) has been mouthing off that
his program is ready for Kramnik and should be
equal to Deep Blue.

They played in the Dutch Championships last year
and couldn't even manage to win. Now they're
saying they stand a chance vs the World Champion?
Well, if he goes too hard on vodka maybe.

This match is simply marketing. They know their
computer is going to lose, but unlike IBM, those
guys actually _sell_ their chesscomputers. And
many people are going to want the one that was
good enough to play the World Champion.
They even 'fixed' the qualifier for this event
so that only their programs played (Deep Fritz
and Deep Junior are both from the German ChessBase
company), nicely blocking out the computer World
Champion (Shredder), as well as blocking out most
other strong contenders (Crafty, Tiger, Rebel,
Hiarcs, Nimzo, Diep, etc...) on false grounds.

So, please don't say this match is anything like
Deep Blue - Kasparov. Fritz is significantly slower
and stupider, no matter what they would want you
to believe. This is in no way the best chess
computer to have ever existed.

Also, don't say this is the end of human
intelligence
if Kramnik loses. Not until a go program starts
beating me, at last :)

--
GCP

Re:Deep Blue vs. Deep Fritz (0)

arne (23792) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123874)

nice points !!!

Re:Deep Blue vs. Deep Fritz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2123878)

To be fair, ChessBase sells just about every world-class PC-based non-Chessmaster program available. The programs are written by independent and rival groups. It's like saying that the book review pool on /. is rigged by only including books that Amazon will sell you.

As a side note, if anyone is interested, "deep Fritz" is the multiprocessor version of the classic Fritz program.

I do agree that Fritz will probably lose, but then again, it runs on M$/Intel, so unlike Deep Blue, you can buy a program that plays at over 2600 ELO and run it at home.

I wish they'd said what hardware they were running the thing on...

Just my 2 mills worth.

Deep Blue 2? (-1, Troll)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123869)

Haven't we already seen this match before? And didn't we already learn the outcome? Look, to paraphrase Tony Kornheiser, every single possible game of chess has been played before. There are a finite number of moves that can be made. Even my 800MHz Athlon and 40GB disk can probably store and compute every chess game possible. When you're playing against a supercomputer, you're playing an opponent with knowledge of every game every played, and can predict every possible outcome of a move within seconds. There's simply no way, other than luck, that a human will beat the next Deep Blue at chess.

I'd spend the time before the match looking for four-leafed clovers, mate.

Re:Deep Blue 2? (1)

Jedi Binglebop (204665) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111170)

I have had this very same argument with a friend of mine. Computers, unbeknownst to some, have no intelligence. Essentially, even with a perfect map of how to win every chess game in every situation - which is not possible in any case, there being always "two" players, not just one - but even if there was such a map, the computer which has no intilligence could not cope with the concept of merely picking the best fit.

Also consider, there is never only one path to take to gain a win. There are always choices. A computer can't choose, it can only calculate (ie compute). A programmer can direct the computer to calculate in such a way that a desirable outcome may be possible, but there is never (ever) going to be 100% certainty that a machine with a perfect set of calculations is going to defeat a human player every time (chess is not a trivial game/problem. You cannot approach it from a trivial perspective).

Deep Blue won iirc 3 our of the 6 games played, and drew 1 (in the rematch) so it was not a one game one win situation. After the rematch (in 1996 iirc) Deep Blue was dismantled. However Gary Kasparov had some queries to IBM about two fo the games in the match - he felt there had been some human intervention. Deep Blue's victory was not "grand" in any sense other than as a marketing stunt for IBM.

-JB.

Re:Deep Blue 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2111990)

Well there are 10221346459144248675287040000 combinations of boards when all piecees are there. This was just a very basic calculation so quite a few are duplicates, and some pieces cann't get to all squares, however there would be many more _unique_ combinations than that when different pieces are taken, and that is just _one frame_ of chess. Each game might be tens or hundreds of frames (i don't know i don't play chess) and some would be infinite (unless there are rules against it). So no, rest assured your lovely computer doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.

Re:Deep Blue 2? (2, Insightful)

psycho_tinman (313601) | more than 13 years ago | (#2113450)

You are making a comparison between brute force computation and heuristics/algorithmic analysis.. What you describe can't happen.

In chess, certain segments of the game are fairly stylized. Take for example, openings, which have been researched, analyzed and can generally be committed to memory. Take also end games, which are more or less set pieces where a result can be determined. Most chess playing computers actually store only the openings, and end game positions. To store every possible move is impossible. This is where the algorithmic analysis/heuristics/AI capability comes in. Using some algorithm like alpha-beta minimax, a computer operates the same way we do, by pruning the decision tree until an optimal move can be found.

The advantage for humans is that there are some moves and positions that we can reject automatically, through experience. The advantage for the computer is that even though it cannot reject such obviously flawed moves without consideration, it can actually compute (and consider) more branches of the decision tree than humans (faster calculations)..

A computer will eventually dominate a human player in Chess. But maybe not just yet..

Re:Deep Blue 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2126556)

You are completely wrong. For simplicity, assume that every player has to pick one move out of ten, and that every game of chess goes on for 40 moves. That would mean a total number of 10^40 moves. 40Gb is 4*10^10 moves.

No computer will EVER be able to compute every game of chess. And there will always be new games to play.

Re:Deep Blue 2? (0)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123531)

Look, you're just going to have to accept that you're gay, and I have a big penis. Face the truth, man. YOU'RE QUEER, MAN!

Not a chance (1)

Richard Bannister (464181) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126570)

There is no way you could fit all possible chess games in 40GB of disk space.

Let me give you an example. I realise I'm oversimplifying things here for ease of maths, but it's just a demo anyway. Consider the following, which, by the way, does not try to take account of pieces which are taken - but nevertheless, gives an example of the storage required.

In chess, there are 16 pieces per side. This means there are 16*16 possible combinations of first move (for each side). Assuming you are storing chess moves in 2 bytes (possible, but compact - given no index space is given here), that's 512 bytes for the first move. when you get to the second move, though, you hit 16*16*16*16 possibilities. Suddenly, that's 131072 bytes - 128K. For each additional move, using these raw calculations, you need 256 times more space.

Your 40GB disk will cover slightly less than all the combinations possible for four moves of chess, based on my calculations. Sorry.

Re:Not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2109719)

I see your point, but it's false to say that you can make 16 different moves the first round. Some pieces can not be moved, some can make more than one. If I'm not mistaken, the number of possible moves a player can do the first round is 12. Not that it really matters, though. You still need close to an infinity amount of space.

Re:Not a chance (0)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 13 years ago | (#2129011)

Actually you're wrong. Each side has the following moves at start;- 8*Pawn - 1 space or 2 2*Knight - 2 options This gives you 20 moves for the first. The 2nd move could have (if the pawn between the Queen & Bishop was moved first time);- 7*Pawn - 1 space or 2 1*Pawn - 1 space more 2*Knight - 2 options 1*Bishop - up to 5 spaces? 1*Queen - Up to 5 spaces? This gives 29 moves 2nd time. The number then carries on increasing each move as the board opens up - it doesn't stay at a fixed level of 16 moves!!

Re:Not a chance (0)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126576)

Did I say GB? Sorry, I meant TB.

Re:Not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2109720)

oh much better. now just get 31193073910962 more of those disks and you should have about as many BITS as there are combinations of pieces on a board.... once you do that then you can start worrying about storing combinations of these (ie. games).

Re:Not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2122404)

Wait! I have a pirated copy of WinZip! That helps, right?

Re:Not a chance (1)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 13 years ago | (#2116722)

Oh great! That means that now you can store five moves rather than four... Indeed, storage need increases exponentially with number of moves.

alice (0)

syscalls (263246) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123870)

perhaps we could see another chess-game
like the one featured in alice in wonderland?

(correct me if i'm wrong)

Re:alice (1)

it's a culture thing (472974) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115769)

which king would bill gates be then? and could we chop off his head?

fof (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2124647)

flost post!

First Fist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2124648)

I can fit an entire chess set in my rectum. What can you fit?

Re:First Fist (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111290)

I can fit the set AND The board.
Beat that. ;p~

=( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2126565)

Sounds like another shitty event... Will the manufacturer help their machine with a team of chess "pros" giving it advices (at every move) ? Maybe the will win one out of many so that they can brag about being the best. /

Artificial Intelligence too advanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2126574)

We can see that computers are always becoming more and more 'smart.' As a marketing employee for a large firm that works with thes kind of products, I think it's really sad that computers have become so advanced. Will a computer ever put a person out of a job? Just as an example, when computers first became used in the 50s, hundreds of young women who were hired to compute missile trajectories were laid off! What will come in the future? Chess matches between computers that never have to be paid? What is happening to the world?

Re:Artificial Intelligence too advanced (3, Insightful)

it's a culture thing (472974) | more than 13 years ago | (#2136938)

The concept of computers becoming "smart" is a bit vague. While accepting that modern computers may appear smarter than their predecessors they aren't. Its just that as processor speeds increase more instructions can be done in a finite period of time and therefore the program can evaluate more information/possibility combinations making you think its smarter. The IBM machine which beat the Grand Master had been programmed with the assistance of 10 other grand masters to look for certain combinations which would lead to victory so it wasnt just evaluating every possibility but only those likely to result in a win.

As to taking away peoples jobs of course computers will. Most jobs are boring, dull and totally pointless. Would you want to spend your entire career screwing nuts onto wheels in some car manufacturing plant or actually designing the next generation of cars while a robot did the dull stuff?

Strange though it may seem, everytime computers take away jobs people become better trained and get to do things which they wouldn't have otherwise. Look at the increases in higher education in the past few decades, the improvements in the standard of living for the majority of people, would you give it up for dumber computers?

And in answer to your final question: The world is becoming more complex. Fun isn't it? 8)

haha (0, Flamebait)

jackolgmx.net (512652) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126662)

Well... Vladimir has a chance if its a Linux that Deep Fritz is running on.

Re:haha (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126430)

>Well... Vladimir has a chance if its a Linux that
>Deep Fritz is running on.

Fritzie only does Windows.

For Linux, there is a free chessprogram that is
just as strong and is opensouce (not really
free software), by Robert Hyatt, a university
professor that is a former computer chess world
champion.

You can get it at

ftp://ftp.cis.uab.ebu/pub/hyatt/v18

It takes some finding to set up though :)

--
GCP

Humans has to win, right ? (1, Insightful)

boaworm (180781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2130894)

It is a rather strange thought that the human mind can create something which is superior to itself.. sounds a bit like a paradox. Of course a computer can do more "raw calculations" than the human mind, but the brain is still superior in many ways.
One of those things are creativity. A human can very easilly come up with new ideas that has not yet been thought of. The brain can link things together in a way that a computer still (and probably never will be able to) cant do.
Anotherone is the ability to learn and adapt to unknown situations. A few days ago on /. there was a thread on writing an AI that should be able to cope with a very simple, yet unknown game. I bet most humans will be able the kick the crap out of those AI's, simply because the human brain is designed to adapt to new situations.

Regardless of how I see it, I see the human as the winner. Either we successfully create an ally that can help us, or we are still smarter. Just see the computer as an extention to the brain, and we are all winners :-)

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (2, Insightful)

alainygr (512586) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111793)

You think everything always stays the same, do you believe that humans came on earth just like they are now? I don't (and I would say: of course).
We're the result of an evolution, I think it's just a matter of time, when humans will create something (will it still be called a computer?) which is more "intelligent".
Yeah, now brain is better than processor, you say "because brain can adapt to new situations", I agree with that, it seems also obvious, but obvious NOW.
Our will / mind is just the result of our life experience, our memory of it (situation-feeling), and some physical connections in the brain (brain is a physical thing, right?) and I think one day we will create something with an own will and mind, and maybe we won't even realize it because if this thing can think, it's going to realize that it should stay hidden to survive and wait till it is powerfull enought.
hmmmm.. and then the human creature won't be at the top of evolution anymore, but the machine.
-Alain-

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2112195)

It's called a baby... ;-)

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (2, Interesting)

ianezz (31449) | more than 13 years ago | (#2148703)

if this thing can think, it's going to realize that it should stay hidden to survive

If it wants to survive at all, of course.

I'd say that most (if not all?) life forms out there have some sort of survival instinct because, ehm... only the individuals (or group of individuals) that took care of surviving actually survived enough to reproduce themselves and transmit this characteristic to their descendands.

If we take an evolutionary approach, for each AI actualy willing to survive, there would be a lot of others not giving a dime on the subject, and the ones performing the selection would probably be human beings (at least in the earlier stages). Given this scenery, staying hidden is almost surely a bad move for an AI in order to stay alive.

OTOH, if you are able to tell an AI that it has to survive, you probably can also tell it to be kind towards other life forms... YMMV. :-)

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (1)

alainygr (512586) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111918)

"OTOH, if you are able to tell an AI that it has to survive, you probably can also tell it to be kind towards other life forms..." Nice try, but in my opinion, surviving is not something you learn, it's part of what we call instinct. Do you think a machine will accept to be turned off if it has conscience that it might not be turned back on? I think that the fear of death is an instinct.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (1)

mancuskc (211986) | more than 13 years ago | (#2148707)

What gets me is - how about if the best potential chess player in the world is currently sowing rice seeds in the Gujarat, is a 68 year old woman, is illiterate and has never had time to play any game, let alone chess?

It seems that the computer chess player has better potentiality, because it is designed to play chess - Human chess players 'just happen'. The current best may not be 'the best'.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2114393)

Like your grammar, your argument is flawed.
When computers are powerful enough, any programmer could write a simple recursive function searching for the best move from any given position.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (1)

jarran (91204) | more than 13 years ago | (#2114396)

It is a rather strange thought that the human mind can create something which is superior to itself

Why? After all, the human body has been used to construct machines that are physically superior for many years.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (0)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2120374)

A human can very easilly come up with new ideas that has not yet been thought of.
There are no new moves in chess. Chess is a finite game. Every game that is possible has been played before. Creativity means nothing. It's not like we're talking about a computer playing rugby or soccer -- there are a finite number of possible reactions in any given situation. And a computer clearly has the advantage, with the ability to "know" and analyze every possible move.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (2)

joss (1346) | more than 13 years ago | (#2113696)

> Every game that is possible has been played before.

Ignorance is bliss, how's it working out for you ? An average chess game is
50 moves (each) without about 20 possibilities on each move.
20^100 is a pretty big number. The proportion of games played to possible games is less than 1:number of atoms in known universe.
Being wrong by that order of magnitude is unusal even for /.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (3, Insightful)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 13 years ago | (#2136327)

There are no new moves in chess.

This is a good poing, but you ruin it with:

Every game that is possible has been played before.

Chess is a finite game, but I think you're underestimating how big that finite area of 64 squares really is.

A sufficiently powerful computer will always beat a human opponent, but creativity is important for the human if he is to have a chance. As I understand it, great human chess players don't play like computers, they play like great human chess players.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (4, Informative)

Kynde (324134) | more than 13 years ago | (#2136139)

A sufficiently powerful computer will always beat a human opponent, but creativity is important for the human if he is to have a chance.

In the early days, say early 80s when the computers took their first steps in being proper opponent for good chess players humans those computers one by one by useing their lack of brute force and/or intuition against them. Boris Spasski whooped one computer beautyfully by sacrificing few king side pawns at point where even a moderate human chess player would've realized that by giving room to Spasski's rocks there'd be problems _in the horizon_. The opposing computer those days naturally couldn't predict that and Spasski indeed launched a glorious attack and won.

That was just a good example how humans usually play against computers. And this is also what Gasparov tried against Deep Blue but in vain. A nice example of where computers had gotten at that point was in one of the games, where Kasparov launched a really promising attack on the king side. It really was promising at that point and most likely any chess guru who was capable of spotting that offense opportunity would have seized it. BUT, at the decicive moment when deep blue had to decide wether to fall back and just try to minimize the damages or call the bluff it (DB) had calculated _every_ possible ending that attack could result in (and we're not talking about checking mates in 5 or 6, but serious amount of prediction) using nothing but brute force. Thus the Deeb Blue took the pawn Kasparov had sacraficed and dealth with the attack to a point where Kasparov gave up.

The throne of chess has been lost for good. There's little reason to suspect that Deep Fritz would loose unless it's significantly slower (or it runs M$ software) than Deep Blue. Garri Kasparov was by far good enough to represent our kind...

(every little detail in this comment may not be 100% accurate as I can't be arsed to check the references right now, but it's by far close enough)

-

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 13 years ago | (#2112661)

Actually, the BBC article on the subject a couple of days ago stated that there was every possibility that Deep Fritz *is* a weaker player than Deep Blue and it's probable that Kramnik is a stronger player than Kasparov (he beat Kasparov after all).

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126039)

"(or it runs M$ software)"

LOL, can you imagine this thing getting a BSOD right at a critical moment in the game? Does this mean the human player will win by default? ;)

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2123872)

or we create something that will KILL US ALL! Or at least out live us and look like a 2 year old's idea of an alien.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2123877)

really... i don't think a two year old has _any _idea of aliens

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (1)

thebitninja (512627) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126567)

Wrong, I'm betting on the computer to win. And it's not too hard to think of something that a human programs that a computer can do better! What about querying a database?

I'd like to see the wetware trump the hardware/software and as someone else mentioned there is human creativity, but there is only a finite space for creativity in a game of chess. And if you can compute every possible move you must be computing the creative moves along with the not so creative ones. It's not like you can find a whole new way to move the pieces or something.

What I'm wondering is has the trip to space, perhaps allowed cosmic rays to mutate the program so that it now plays better than ever before. Return of the mutant space chess program [217.33.44.70] =)

Re:Humans have to win, right ? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2139823)

Computers, from almost the start, have been superior to the human mind in very specific tasks. Precise and fast calculations, for example.

In Chess, the rules are static and well-defined. But the number of possible moves becomes very large over the course of a game. It's only in the last few years that the computers started winning against the best.

To lay to rest your concerns, think about all the man-hours used in development of this machine.

Re:Humans has to win, right ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2150452)

Hmm, so what exactly did you just say that (a) everyone ignorant of the AI field doesn't know already, and (b) has any bearing on the article?

Of course, I'd never accuse you of karma whoring with an early-posted comment devoid of substance, because I have done that too many times myself. :-)

Not unusual (5, Insightful)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 13 years ago | (#2135919)

> Of course, since he'll be snagging $800k for a draw, and $600k for a loss ...

This is nothing unusual. In many chess tournaments, even the loser still wins a sizeable amount of money. Consider it as a kind of gage to remunerate their willingness to participate (and to risk some of their prestige if losing).

Re:Not unusual (1)

max_power26 (468865) | more than 13 years ago | (#2136345)

At first it seems like a lot but there was $2million total prize money when this guy beat Kasparov. I'd probably bet on the computer too seeing that: 'Deep Fritz has previously beaten Deep Blue, Kasparov and World Chess Federation champion Vishwanathan Anand. ' and that when he played Kasparov 13 of the 16 games came to a draw

Re:Not unusual (3, Informative)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126562)

I don't know where you got the statement that
Deep Fritz beat Deep Blue, but it's obviously
false given that Deep Blue never played anyone
but Kasparov.
There were single-chip versions of Deep Blue on
the web for a while, so it could be that they beat
such one. But its more than 400 times slower than
the full Deep Blue.
Also, the win vs. Kasparov was in a blitz game.
Computers have long been superior in those fast
games.

This is marketing people. Many here don't seem
to realize chess in multimillion business, and
lying is ok if it makes you sell better.

--
GCP

Re:Not unusual (3, Interesting)

max_power26 (468865) | more than 13 years ago | (#2114397)

I got it from the Article. All I can find is that the original Fritz (running on a P90) beat the Deep Blue Prototype the year before it played Kasparov.

'By winning the championships Fritz demonstrated that chess knowledge was at least as important as computing power - Fritz was using one of the least powerful computers in the tournament (a standard Pentium 90MHz PC supplied by the Chinese University of Hong Kong)'

See: http://www.dcs.qmw.ac.uk/~icca/WCCC8/chess95.html Round 5 is DB vs. Fritz

Re:Not unusual (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115767)

>Deep Blue Prototype

That should have rung a bell. Windows ruled Linux 0.01 too.

--
GCP

Re:Not unusual (1)

collar (34531) | more than 13 years ago | (#2146351)

Similar to how Tiger Woods can command a few million in appearance money just for turning up.

It's inevitable (5, Insightful)

Bjarke Roune (107212) | more than 13 years ago | (#2136406)

Even if this guy should beat the computer, that should not lead anyone to having illusions about the future. Eventually, computer chess superiority will be a fact. Even though the program running on Deep Blue could beat Kasparov, that day is not today. The very fact that we are unsure whether Validimir Kramnik or the computer will win clearly proves this.

One reason that computers inevitably will beat us humans is that each year, computers get exponentially faster, which means the chess programs can search linearly deeper in the game search tree. It's simply a matter of waiting untill they are unbeatable.

However, that wait might be very long, but to top things over, algorithms are improving too. Some have thought in the past that our game-tree search algorithms were pretty close to optimal, but for example some of Aske Plaat's research [cs.vu.nl] clearly shows that this is far from the case, and that the old predictions about optimal performance was based on too simple and fundamentally unsound principles. Substantial improvements can be made. (not that I have anything to do with him. I don't know him and live in another country)

Even more important is the fact that we need not search the full search tree (indeed Deep Blue did not, using instead something called singular extensions). Rather, if we can make a heuristic that tells us which parts of the search tree are "interesting" we can skip the rest and only concentrate on those areas. In this way, computer chess is becoming a little more like human chess (though not much). The point is, as those "this part of the tree is interesting" heuristics get better, so will computer chess programs get better.

In short, the future of computer chess is bright, and we might have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Human superiority or even something resembling it simply will not last. Chess will neither be the first nor the last game where computers will always beat a human.

Re:It's inevitable (1)

arielb (5604) | more than 13 years ago | (#2127174)

you have never even considered the possibility that as knowledge of the brain increases, people will think faster and faster too

Machine loses.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2136631)

Hacked by Chinese!

Re:Machine loses.... (0)

DrMyke (150908) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126573)

I feel a "Code Deep Fritz" worm a brewin' "Hacked By IBM"

But... (1)

dunkerz (443211) | more than 13 years ago | (#2146350)

A computer can only be as good as the person who programmed it to play chess!

Re:But... (1)

BeyondALL (248414) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123873)

But, chess is mostly calculations... and a computer should beat a person in that. When I got my first computer: a 8086 I tried to play chess with it. If I did the same move as the computer all the time.. after 4 moves it used several hours to make the next move - what a supercomputer ;-)

In a manner of speaking, I suppose... (3, Insightful)

kabir (35200) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126558)

Consider this, though: Supposing I know rules of chess, and am a decent player by the "livingroom" standard, but not really someone who could compete at much of any level. But I do understand the (finite) rules well, and I do have some concept of what it means to win or lose, and the relative value of the pieces. Since a computer is (inherently) a state machine, and a fast one at that, I could simply program it with the ability to consider many, many possible lines of play, to some arbitrary depth, and then compare the results of those hypothetical situations. What you'd end up with is a tree of possibilities, some branches of which would contain more "good" than "bad" situations. The program would be intstucted to select the branch with the most favourable overall evaluation, and in all likelyhood it could kick my butt every time (the "deeper" it considers, the more my butt gets kicked...). While this could certainly be computationally intensive, I don't think it's much that the average PC couldn't handle at a relatively shallow "lookahead" depth, and a big multiprocessor machine could certainly take the concept much furthur.

As it is, I think that what I have described is, roughly, how home PC chess programs work. Of course there has been some tweaking and refining, and probably a hell of a lot of precalculation of common scenarios on the home PC products - so that it's nice and fast and doesn't need a Cray. I'm not sure how Deep Fritz works, but I'm fairly certain it does something similar on some level (Hence the name?).

The advantage that computers tend to have over people in this kind of thing should be pretty obvious: most people can't accuratly remember that much stuff! Naturally, human creativity makes a big difference, as does talent and experience, but the computer being able to consider so many options so quickly and accurately makes up for a lot, and should allow it to surpass it's creators fairly easily (unless it's creators are Grand Masters!).

Re:In a manner of speaking, I suppose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2121643)

"a big multiprocessor machine could certainly take the concept much furthur."

Actually, probably not much further. The algorithm gets very important. On the average, for each half move, there are about 50 possible choices. So say I have a big whopping department of energy vector processor, with lots of parrallel whatnot and many many tera-somethings. So say I have that. For the sake of argument, say the darn thing is a million times faster than my little gighertz machine. (50*50*50*50) is what? 6&1/4 million? For 2 extra moves of lookahead? If my dimpy gigahertz machin has a somewhat better algorithm, and I can efficiently avoid trying to go down all the tree branches, I am gonna save myself many computation cycles, and probably beat the pants off of Mr. Friendly neighborhood huge-number-cruncher-check-all-branches-for-best-r esult DOE computer. So it isnt so important how big machine is, compared to how smart my algorithm is

Re:In a manner of speaking, I suppose... (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126571)

>I'm not sure how Deep Fritz works, but I'm fairly
>certain it does something similar on some level
>(Hence the name?).

Somewhat yes. The key process is called minimaxing.

You try to maximize your score and minimize your
opponents.

Minimaxing has been speeded up by tricks such as
alphabeta pruning, nullmoves and hashtables (and
more). A computer like Deep Fritz searches about
14 (half)moves to 17 (half)moves., and more in
difficult variations.
Searching 17 ply and thinking you are winning
is going to be no good if you actually lose the
next move. This is called the horizon effect.
Without it, the computers would be king already.

BTW. The 'Deep' in the refers to the ability
to use multiple processors (of course its nice
for sales that it sounds like 'Deep' Blue). Fritz
is a common German name. The program is being
marketed by Germans (but programmed by a Dutchman)

--
GCP

Re:In a manner of speaking, I suppose... (0)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2114392)

Dutch, German, what's the difference? They all are flammable.

But at least they are not Belgian! Oh my, the Belgians eat poo! And poo spread on Belgian waffles, called Belgian poo waffles!

Not necessarily (includes explanation)... (2, Insightful)

Richard Bannister (464181) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126559)

Most computers play chess by looking ahead at the consequences of whatever moves are made. Depending on how fast the computer is, huge numbers of possibilities can be checked.

In many cases this is augmented by a database of opening sequences, which is used to give the computer a head start, so to speak.

The computer algorithm works out, for example, what is likely to happen 5 or 6 moves from now if it should move a piece to a certain place. It runs through all possible moves, looking at each one and the likely consequences of it, before deciding exactly what move to execute.

No human can possibly consider anything like the number of moves a computer can, but a truly excellent player stands a chance because look ahead methods are far from flawless.

Re:But... (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2133498)

>A computer can only be as good as the person who
>programmed it to play chess!

This is so wrong...

This is like saying that a computer is only as
good in mathematics as the programmer that programmed it.

Don't think so.

--
GCP

Re:But... (0)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2109717)

Is it true that you stole Sjeng's code from the author of Diep? And is it also true that you offered to fellate Crafty if he threw the match at CCT3? And is it also true that Sjeng has been defeated by a pirated "Mario Chess" GameBoy ROM? And is it also true, sir, that you eat poo?

Re:But... (2, Interesting)

klmth (451037) | more than 13 years ago | (#2134047)

Not quite. They programmed Deep Blue, for example, by feeding it's heuristical engine with data from thousands of previous games. This data, together with the learning ability of the machine and the raw computation power yields to a chess computer far more effective than the people who programmed it. Not that it neccessarily is any better than a human being: Deep Blue didn't win every game against Kasparov, it merely won more games in the turney.

Re:But... (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126554)

>They programmed Deep Blue, for example, by
>feeding it's heuristical engine with data from
>thousands of previous games.

No, this is only partly right. They did this for
the predecessor Deep Thought, but for Deep Blue
the parameters were tuned by human chess
grandmasters.
So far noone has been able to come up with a
technique that reaches as good results via
automatic tuning as manual tuning of the
parameters.

Developing one could very well be a breakthrough.

--
GCP

Re:But... (0)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2112974)

Hi, this is the author of Diep. And I know that you stole my code! You're a meanie! And you eat poo!

Re:But... (2)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#2136397)

Nope, you got it wrong. Deep Thought was the supercomputer used to find the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Deep Blue was IBM's first attempt at beating Kasparov. The second attempt was Deeper Blue. IBM was assisted by one of Kasparov's rivals when tuning Deeper Blue. It was basically tuned with the assumption that it would be playing Kasparov and so many people think that a different grandmaster could have beaten it.

Re:But... (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 13 years ago | (#2127175)

>Nope, you got it wrong. Deep Thought was the
>supercomputer used to find the answer to the
>question of life, [snip]

Deep Thought was a chesscomputer made by the
same team that made Deep and Deeper Blue and
was its direct predecessor. Deep Thought was
tuned fully automatically. Deep/Deeper Blue
had manual tuning on top of that.

What do you think I got wrong?
>It was basically tuned with the assumption that
>it would be playing Kasparov and so many people
>think that a different grandmaster could have
>beaten it.

Kasparov stated this directly after the match,
but there has been no evidence to illustrate it
whatsoever.
He also claimed a human was helping the machine
as well.

--
GCP

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2149644)

1 million monkeys at a million terminals will create the most advanced Chess game, ever!

Re:But... (0)

DrMyke (150908) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123871)

Dont forget the chickens and gophers. There crazy like that.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2115771)

Egg laying simulator.

Is it applicable only to chess? (1)

defence budget (410076) | more than 13 years ago | (#2146368)

There have been incidents of computers outwitting humans in Chess which is a fixed logic game - that is to say that there is a limit to the individual moves that can be performed by a piece.

Now, would the results be the same for a not-so-fixed logic game, such as a wargame [hyw.com] ?

Those who play computer games will know that playing against humans is more challenging and interesting any day than playing against the AI. Is this a limitation of the processing power/programs available to PCs or is it a fundamental limitation with computers?

Booyakasha! (-1, Offtopic)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2147227)

WAAAAAAAAAAA! [slashdot.org]

Where Is (0)

DrMyke (150908) | more than 13 years ago | (#2149646)

What ever happend to Bobby Fisher? He was/Is the best. I bet he could kick the crap out of 10 of those chess "puters'"

Bobby Fischer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2126555)


Oh, Bobby Fischer is still around. He had a very
public rematch with retired ex-champ Boris Spassky back in '92 or so. (note that Spassky was probably the weakest "world chess champion" there has been)

The match showed that he still has some fire, but was quite rusty. He wouldnt be ranked in the top 10 in the world today...and isnt getting any closer by his inactivity.

Fisher is, well, seriously loopy. He'd most likely never play in a tournament, or under any other circumstance where he didnt have total control of the playing conditions. When I say loopy...i mean "the-CIA-put-a-mind-control-radio-in-my-fillings" type loopy.

After he dropped out of the chess scene (after 1972), he joined some religious sect, which bilked him out of his money. He basically orchestrated the 1992 "rematch" for the money. He got something like $5M, but he's wanted by the US Government for some minor things -- so he's living in Europe now. He still considers himself the World Chess Champion.

Re:Bobby Fischer (1)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 13 years ago | (#2127705)

> Fisher is, well, seriously loopy. He'd most likely never play in a tournament, or under any other circumstance where he didnt have total control of the playing conditions.

From what I understand, at that time, it was' the world master's privilege to fix the tournament conditions (prize money, who would put how much into the pool, etc.) for any challenger. Bobby Fischer figured out that he could stay World Master forever by making his conditions unacceptable enough that nobody would challenge him.

Result: the other guys just played without him...

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2150941)

first post!

It has to be... (1, Funny)

DrMyke (150908) | more than 13 years ago | (#2150942)

I bet the computer is an Amiga.
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