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Subject: Re: ICCA Journal Sinks To A New Low

Author: Amir Ban

Date: 16:23:18 01/25/98

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On January 25, 1998 at 15:07:25, Komputer Korner wrote:

[entire post snipped]

Come on, Komputer. At least be annoyed for the right reasons. ICCAJ
decided to bore us to death, and Mr. Korf seems to be the only person
around who doesn't realize that any IBM statement on this is done for
reasons of PR.

I don't think any of your arguments are valid, but your conclusion (and
IBM's) are correct. Computer chess is not artificial intelligence, for
reasons that computer chess programs will find obvious. In the beginning
of the 1980's, Douglas Hofstadter claimed that a computer that plays at
a master level would need to have intelligence, in the sense that do
that it would have to have, as a necessary by-product, general
capabilities exceeding chess that are intuitively interpreted as
intelligence. This simply happens not to be true (fortunately for us
programmers), and Hofstadter has changed his mind.

I do think that other games are better candidates than chess. The sort
of capabilities needed to play chess well turn out to be a bit
one-dimensional, although this was not obvious twenty years ago. I think
Bridge is a much better candidate. Although it's not as deep and complex
as chess, it's deep enough, and the capabilities needed to play it
strongly cannot be covered by a clever search algorithm: Information
passing, positive and negative inferences, playing with intent of
revealing or hiding information, and other features of this game make it
much more difficult for computers, and maybe require true intelligence.
It's hard to imagine a master-level bridge program that is not a stone's
throw from understanding natural language, and if you have that, I don't
care if you can unplug it or set it on fire.

Amir



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