Beyond Deep Blue

Over 20 years ago a computer called Deep Blue beat the chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, to the great shock of many. But Ai has come a long way since Deep Blue. Chess programs far more powerful than Deep Blue are available as freeware. How did we get here from there? Here’s more from the UK Science Museum:

Since machines could first outperform humans – or at least do our work for us faster – we’ve been thinking about what our world looks like when computers can do better than the best of us. Unlike people, computers never get tired, and they can perform calculations at lightning speed. They’re good at doing the work that we don’t want to do – but what happens when they get good at things that we consider essentially human, like playing games?

About 1500 years ago, chess evolved out of the Indian strategy game chaturanga. Since first spreading out of India, people around the world have seen it as a prestigious game, associated with refinement and intelligence. In the late nineteenth century, chess players started to shift their focus away from daring, stylish moves to more systematic, strategic gameplay. By the twentieth century, computer scientists saw chess as their test case for building a machine that could do more than just crunch numbers.

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