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On Christmas, Jim and I were discussing the difficulties of programming a computer to play Go in comparison to Chess. I said Go might ultimately be beyond the power of a computer because it relied on pattern recognition rather than number-crunching. Jim said he doubted that, because eventually computers would be able to handle complex pattern recognition. Well, it looks like I was wrong, about the nature of the task--it's number-crunching AND pattern recognition--and the outcome. At least one expert concurs that it's not a matter of whether but when. Here's a no-sign-in-required link to the NYTimes article I remembered from several years ago. In relevant part it states: "'It may be a hundred years before a computer beats humans at Go -- maybe even longer,' said Dr. Piet Hut, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and a fan of the game. 'If a reasonably intelligent person learned to play Go, in a few months he could beat all existing computer programs. You don't have to be a Kasparov.' When or if a computer defeats a human Go champion, it will be a sign that artificial intelligence is truly beginning to become as good as the real thing."
- tom moody 1-01-2002 8:13 pm [link] [1 comment]