Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Scientists try to solve ancient board game

by Paul Jay, CBC News online

Chess lovers revel in their game's status as the brainiest of leisure activities, but even they had to admit some of the fun has been taken out of the game after Deep Blue and, more recently, Deep Fritz, started beating world champions.

Those in pursuit of a game of true human intuition could always fall back on Go, as the popular Asian board game's subtleties had thus far eluded programmers. While Go-playing software could beat amateur players, they had failed to compete against even mid-level opponents. Two Hungarian scientists, however, believe they are a step closer to playing in the big leagues.

According to a story in Reuters, the scientists at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' computing lab SZTAKI have come up with an algorithm that helps a computer compete with professional players on a nine-by-nine square board. As the story explains:

Whereas a chess programme can evaluate a scenario by assigning numerical values to pieces — say 9 to the queen and 1 to a pawn — and to the tactical worth of their position, that technique is not available to a Go machine. In Go all marbles are identical and scenarios are too complex, so the computer has to think forward all the way till the end of the game and emulate the outcome of each alternative move, whose number rises exponentially with the number of turns.

Most professional players use a 19-by-19 board, a level of complexity the programmers admit their computer isn't quite ready to tackle.

While we root for technological advances in general, we hope Go can continue to thrive as a person to person pursuit. And that this guy never decides to take a crack at it.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Richard Hough

Chess is one of the most intensively-studied computer problems of the last 50 years. I believe the reason computers are not as capable in playing Go is solely because of the lack of time and effort spent on the problem.

No doubt when computers are able to beat Go masters, people will claim only games like tic-tac-toe and steeplechase have the "subtleties " that show "true human intuition".

Posted February 26, 2007 11:26 AM

Timothy Mott

Ottawa

Regarding Mr. Hough's comments:

Chess and go are fundamentally different games. It is not for lack of trying that computers are mediocre go players -- there have long been substantial prizes offered to the person who can create a strong computer opponent.

There are many aspects of go that make it extremely difficult to analyse, to wit:
the number of possibilities available on each turn, the size of the board, the complexity of determining whether a given group of stones is dead or alive, and the winning condition that takes into account every square on the board.

Moves played at the beginning of a game of go can have an impact on the flow of the game three hundred moves later. Large groups can be sacrificed in surprising ways to gain advantages elsewhere. The big picture is all-important, and computers simply don't see it.

Posted November 28, 2007 10:59 PM

Rafael Espericueta

The number of possible chess games has been estimated to be about 10^125, whereas the number of possible go games is closer to 10^300. That's a HUGE difference.

In the best-selling novel, "Shibumi", is the comment "Chess is to go as double-entry accounting is to poetry". Indeed!

Posted November 29, 2008 07:54 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Trump lashes out at 'false accusations' of sexual misconduct, Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. President Donald Trump, pushing back against women accusing him of sexual misconduct, insisted Tuesday he's the target of "false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don't know and/or have never met."
Updated Turbulent U.S. Senate race now in hands of Alabama voters video
An Alabama state official Tuesday predicted higher-than-usual turnout for a special election, a race that some will cast as either continuing the "Trump miracle" in Washington or allowing "decency" to prevail in the southeastern state.
Updated France's Macron says world is losing battle against climate change
More than 50 world leaders, plus CEOs, investment fund managers and celebrities, have gathered in Paris for a climate change summit on the 2nd anniversary of the Paris climate accord.
more »

Canada »

Analysis Justin Trudeau's Liberals win byelections again where it matters most
The Conservatives picked up support in three of four byelections, but the Liberals won the kind of seat that will decide the next federal election in 2019.
Federal end-of-life health bill to improve care for dying Canadians
A private member's bill is about to become law and its goal is to make end-of-life health care better for Canadians from coast to coast.
Quebec's new basic income plan has proponents dreaming big, others skeptical
The Quebec government has taken a "positive first step" toward a universal basic income with its commitment to provide a set amount of money to those unable to work, says one proponent of the idea. Others aren't so sure.
more »

Politics »

Updated Quebec jurist Richard Wagner named next Supreme Court chief justice
Quebec jurist Richard Wagner has been named the next chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Analysis Justin Trudeau's Liberals win byelections again where it matters most
The Conservatives picked up support in three of four byelections, but the Liberals won the kind of seat that will decide the next federal election in 2019.
Americans revoking travel visas from visitors who plan to claim asylum in Canada
American authorities say an ongoing operation along its northern border has led them to revoke U.S.-issued travel visas of thousands of people, most of whom were headed to Canada to claim asylum.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel holds son, pleads for health care
Jimmy Kimmel held his baby son Billy as he returned to his late-night show on Monday, following a week off for the boy's heart surgery.
Photos The Shape of Water, Big Little Lies lead Golden Globes nominations
Guillermo del Toro's Cold War-era, Canadian-shot fairy tale The Shape of Water swam away with a leading seven nominations for Golden Globes, while the Canadian-directed HBO drama Big Little Lies led the television nominees with six nods.
'Feminism' is Merriam-Webster's word of the year
Merriam-Webster has revealed "feminism" as its word of 2017.
more »

Technology & Science »

New Researchers discover 'Dracula's terrible tick' trapped in amber with dinosaur feather
Scientists examining 99-million-year-old amber hit pay dirt when they discovered both the first direct evidence of a tick feeding off a feathered dinosaur and an entirely new species of tick.
France awards U.S. climate scientists grants to 'Make Our Planet Great Again'
Eighteen climate scientists from the U.S. and elsewhere hit the jackpot Monday as French President Emmanuel Macron awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump's presidential term.
Trump announces focus on returning Americans to the moon
President Donald Trump wants to send humans back to the moon — and on to Mars.
more »

Money »

Ride-hailing service Lyft expands outside U.S. for 1st time to take on Uber in Canada
Uber rival Lyft launches today in Toronto. The two companies will begin a battle not just for customers, but also for drivers, as many plan to double dip.
Cost of child care up by 20% in some cities since 2014, report finds
The cost of child care is rising quickly in Canada, in some cities increasing by as much as 20 per cent from three years ago and more than 10 per cent in most of Canada.
Uber says 815,000 Canadians affected by data breach as investigation launched
Uber Canada said late Monday that 815,000 Canadian riders and drivers may have been affected as part of its worldwide data breach announced in November.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Russian Olympic Committee approves athletes competing as neutrals
The Russian Olympic Committee on Tuesday formally gave approval for athletes to compete under a neutral flag at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang in February.
Recap Mathieu Perreault helps Jets snap 3-game losing streak video
Mathieu Perreault scored two goals and added one assist to help the Winnipeg Jets halt a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
Analysis Winnipeg Jets targeting playoffs after strong start
The hockey world should not ignore how well the Winnipeg Jets have performed in the opening third of the 2017-18 season. Despite a current three-game losing skid, the team looks poised to end a lengthy post-season drought.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »