Today I learned about a fake chess-playing AI from the 1700s.

A copper engraving of the Turk, from the Wikipedia article.

Mechanical Turk

The Mechanical Turk was a device that was said to be an automaton capable of playing chess, defeating many players around the world. Later on, it was found that the machine was just a hoax, as it hid a seasoned chess player that could then operate the machine.

I learned this from a tweet I saw, that jokingly asked if the Mechanical Turk was the first AI in the world:

Reading about this reminded me of Deep Blue, the first computer to beat the reigning world champion in a chess game and a chess match, using the regular time constraints from competitions.

Deep Blue was from IBM and it was in the year of 1997 (the year I was born!) that it beat Kasparov, the then-world champion.

If you are into machine learning and all these cool things, you might also be interested in googling Stockfish (a powerful chess engine) or AlphaGo (arguably the best Go player in the world – even better than professional humans) from DeepMind.

As far as my recollection goes, DeepMind has been doing some amazing work when it comes to building AIs that play “difficult” games. I don't remember their differences, but there's at least AlphaGo, AlphaZero, and AlphaGo Zero...

Thinking about this gets me all hyped up about reinforcement learning! I've written about it in the past (in my old blog, I have to revive those articles)... Maybe I should write about it again soon!

Stay tuned!

I hope you learned something new! If you did, consider following the footsteps of the readers who bought me a slice of pizza 🍕. Your small contribution helps me produce this content for free and without spamming you with annoying ads.

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