Artificial Intelligence Is Taking Computer Chess Beyond Brute Force

Chess is often seen as the ultimate mental challenge: 32 pieces on an 8-by-8 board, and nearly limitless possible moves. There are chess engines that calculate millions of moves per second, but the traditional approach is to “brute force” the match. Brute forcing is a method in hacking (and apparently computer chess simulation) that means to run every possibility of a problem until the program finds the best solution. But Matthew Lai wants to make chess-playing computers smarter. For part of his Masters degree at Imperial College London, Lai trained artificial neural networks to play at the level of a FIDE International Master, better than 97.8 percent of rated tournament players. He calls his software Giraffe. After 72 hours of training, Giraffe figured out the best possible move 46 percent…


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