As we move closer and closer to the second decade of the 21st century, an ever-increasing number of fields are experiencing a revolution: Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), self-driving cars, etc. They’re all bringing more and more possibilities for solving problems that some people may have thought were unsolvable or dealt with as intractable some time ago.
This is also true in chess. It has been over 20 years since Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, and humanity lost one of its last chess strongholds to machines. But now we stand on the verge of another breakthrough: researchers from Google’s Deep Mind team made headlines earlier this year after creating AlphaGo. This program not only beat a human grandmaster at the complex game of Go but created strategies that no human has ever seen before. You can use salesforce data backup apps.
What does the future hold?
It’s difficult to predict what kind of breakthroughs will happen next, but this seems clear: machines will play a central role in defining the future of both our industry and society as a whole. However, chess isn’t just another application area within AI – it is also an excellent testing ground for new techniques and algorithms developed by machine learning scientists. This means that the development of more robust programs may have tremendous effects on many other fields, from defense applications to health care research. IBM recently announced plans to invest $1 billion over 4 years into a new machine-learning initiative led by its Watson supercomputer. Get more at Groovy Boot.
All of this has many chess players worried about the future of their game. They fear that machines may soon be able to beat even the best human players and make these chess geniuses obsolete, leaving us with nothing but memories of times past. There are also concerns among some factions within the chess world about unfair advantages created by powerful chess software. These fears are entirely understandable – after all, who wants to play against an opponent who can see everything on the board at every moment?
Computers affecting various aspects in life
Still, I want to present an alternative vision for how powerful computers will affect chess itself and other areas as well: they won’t replace humans or fundamentally change us. AI will indeed take over many previously reserved tasks for humans, but this doesn’t mean that AI will replace humans as a whole. Instead, it simply means that some tasks are easier to solve with machines than others. And chess is no exception. The game may benefit computer science research by testing their ideas against solid competition on equal terms.
This concept of ‘equal terms’ is vital because interactions between people and computers are fundamentally asymmetrical. We know what our goals are and how to achieve them, while the machine must be explicitly told or programmed with all the necessary sub-goals before it can even start working toward our final objective. The more actions we want the device to perform without explicit instructions, the more complex its internal architecture must become. In essence, we give computers a leg up in cases where they can do something better than humans, but they don’t have all the necessary information to do it by themselves.
In chess, however, this is not true. When two human players meet at the board, they have complete knowledge of the current situation and know all the rules that govern their actions. The machine has no additional insights or information that aren’t available to its human opponent and vice versa: if we had access to unlimited computing power and could store every possible piece of data about each move throughout history.