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  1. #1
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Canadian scientists crack Checkers code

    Quote Originally Posted by checkers
    EDMONTON - A team of scientists at the University of Alberta has reached a milestone in artificial intelligence by using computers to "solve" the game of checkers.

    The feat essentially means the team's checkers-playing program, Chinook, can never be beaten at the game. It can only be tied - and only when its opponent plays a perfect game.

    To date, checkers is the largest, non-trivial game of skill to be solved. It is more than a million times more complex that the previous AI standard, Connect Four.

    "This is not a small leap. This is not something that anyone is going to duplicate tomorrow," said team leader Jonathan Schaeffer.

    Schaeffer began working on the checkers project more than 18 years ago, in 1989. By the mid-1990s, Chinook was sophisticated enough to consistently beat the top human players in the world.

    But Schaeffer pressed on, working to get the program to the point where it could never be defeated.

    To solve the game, the team had to sift through an astronomical number of checkers positions and analyse the best way to move the pieces. Almost continuously since 1989, dozens of computers have been working on the problem, constantly updating Chinook's database with more and more positions.

    The total number of potential positions in the game is about 500 billion billion.

    More at link: http://www.canada.com/topics/technol...942f52&k=43808
    Milky Is The Way
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  2. #2
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Maybe they can help me with my checkered past (ayuk-yuk-yuk).
    Milky Is The Way
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  3. #3
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    "And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."


    Would you like a dream with that?

  4. #4
    CPM M4 BananaTugger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsInMyTeeth View Post
    Canadians are very, very strange.
    We are also exceptionally friendly, which is quite strange to many foreigners.
    Ten tenths.

  5. #5
    CPM M4 BananaTugger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsInMyTeeth View Post
    Tell me aboot it.

    (born and raised.. eh?)
    Indeed.

    I don't recall ever hearing anyone say "aboot," however, my former psychiatrist had a freaking amazing North Ontarian accent.
    Ten tenths.

  6. #6
    CPM M4 BananaTugger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsInMyTeeth View Post
    yeah.. I dont get it either.. but I've heard the yanks mention this is how we speak...

    No idea..

    Crazy yanks.
    Damn Yankees?

    Ten tenths.

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by BananaTugger View Post
    Indeed.

    I don't recall ever hearing anyone say "aboot," however, my former psychiatrist had a freaking amazing North Ontarian accent.
    One of my computer science profs had an interseting rurual ontario accent. I didn't even notice it at first until one of my friends pointed it out.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dpb13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BananaTugger View Post
    Indeed.

    I don't recall ever hearing anyone say "aboot," however, my former psychiatrist had a freaking amazing North Ontarian accent.
    A few years ago while in Vancouver I was asked "Where aboots are you from?"
    Originally Posted by merider1
    By the time you got to the claspy thingy, I would have taught you plenty

  9. #9
    Senior Member Malistryx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    One of my computer science profs had an interseting rurual ontario accent. I didn't even notice it at first until one of my friends pointed it out.
    I don't think I've ever heard a rural ontario accent... Am I missing out on something?! Is it a conspiracy?!

  10. #10
    CPM M4 BananaTugger's Avatar
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    Rural, ONT accent?

    See:

    The Red Green Show.
    Ten tenths.

  11. #11
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    I can sleep secure tonight knowing that the we are now protected from the great checker threat.
    Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

  12. #12
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalMonger View Post
    Wow....as somebody who has taken a graduate course in AI, I can attest this IS very big news. It's too bad AI algorithms aren't transferable to other problem spaces. The heuristic used is unique to the problem, and that would have to have been the big breakthrough, finding the perfect heuristic.

    Anyway....way to go, Canuckies!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  13. #13
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    Wow....as somebody who has taken a graduate course in AI, I can attest this IS very big news. It's too bad AI algorithms aren't transferable to other problem spaces. The heuristic used is unique to the problem, and that would have to have been the big breakthrough, finding the perfect heuristic.
    Isn't that antithetical to AI? If you have to tell it how to do everything than it's not really artificial...just executing a program. I see the breakthroughs in the cars that drive themselves as a more interesting step towards AI since it has to learn as it executes.

  14. #14
    CPM M4 BananaTugger's Avatar
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    It is somewhat trivial, but as long as it makes Americans jealous, then it was worth it.
    Ten tenths.

  15. #15
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiaboy View Post
    "And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."


    Oh no, someone else who thinks the way I do? This is not a good thing . . . .
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  16. #16
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    Oh no, someone else who thinks the way I do? This is not a good thing . . . .
    People with inner struggle and conflict interest me. I guess that's why I consider myself interesting.
    Would you like a dream with that?

  17. #17
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BananaTugger View Post
    It is somewhat trivial, but as long as it makes Americans jealous, then it was worth it.
    I wouldn't go that far.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  18. #18
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Again this does nothing but bring up the debate about what "intelligence" is. Is having a computer know all possible outcomes of an event "intelligent"?

  19. #19
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Any estimates on how long it is until chess is cracked? So the best one can hope for against the computer is a stalemate?
    Milky Is The Way
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  20. #20
    Erectible Member pedalMonger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyquest View Post
    Again this does nothing but bring up the debate about what "intelligence" is. Is having a computer know all possible outcomes of an event "intelligent"?

    I'd say a computer knowing all possible outcomes of an event could be considered a form or an aspect of intelligence, but that sort of specialization is nothing like standard human intelligence. I say "standard", because of variations like the idiot-savant.
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  21. #21
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air View Post
    Isn't that antithetical to AI? If you have to tell it how to do everything than it's not really artificial...just executing a program. I see the breakthroughs in the cars that drive themselves as a more interesting step towards AI since it has to learn as it executes.
    Not at all. You may be confusing the concept with Artificial Neural Networks which is closer to what you say. And it's not quite just running a program to test all possibilities. It's a bit more complex than that. There is NO WAY it can check all the possibilities. That would take YEARS to compute. The algorithm uses a HEURISTIC which is basically a fancy way of saying a GUESS to determine which branch of the possible moves to go looking down. Some are easy to eliminate as bad moves, but many are not and its searching probably thousands if not millions of possible outcomes, but its eliminating probably billions from even bothering to search because the HEURISTIC shows it to be a bad move.


    Quote Originally Posted by BugsInMyTeeth View Post
    Exactly.. This isn't AI. At best, it's a good database search algorithm (errr.. if it's fast, that is...)


    Silly.
    No you are wrong. Mostly AI is just searching algorithms. The "artificial" part is the fact that the humans who design the algorithms tell it which paths to search and which ones not to search because its impossible to search them all.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  22. #22
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I don't feel like wading through the thread to see if someone pointed this out yet, but they took all possible game scenarios and chose the best move and stored it in a database.

    So basically, this canadian dude didn't make anything AI. He made some crap to go through all the possible scenarios and store the best move in a database. Then he probably wrote something in visual basic or some crap to look up the best move. It's no more intelligent than carrying around a book with a few thousand pages of checkers layouts and a suggested move.

    FAIL!
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
    My latest tip: Carrying your laptop
    My latest geeky project: Ethernet-testing cuff links

  23. #23
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
    I don't feel like wading through the thread to see if someone pointed this out yet, but they took all possible game scenarios and chose the best move and stored it in a database.

    So basically, this canadian dude didn't make anything AI. He made some crap to go through all the possible scenarios and store the best move in a database. Then he probably wrote something in visual basic or some crap to look up the best move. It's no more intelligent than carrying around a book with a few thousand pages of checkers layouts and a suggested move.

    FAIL!
    You are showing how little you know about AI.

    It would be impossible to have a computer fast enough to take all the possible solutions. The breakthrough was in finding the perfect heuristic for the game to KNOW the correct search path for the best move was taken. It probably eliminated 95% of possible moves from the search as bad moves and only had to search 5% to find the perfect move.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

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