Human vs Computer in Games


If we have to check humans vs computers for games, who wins? Computers? Can computers really beat humans at games? A definite YES.

Though the word “Artificial Intelligence” has been popularised recently, it has been around for a long. AI machines (or computers as we commonly call them) have been beating humans for decades.

Do you know about MANIAC? It started in 1956 when a computer called MANIAC developed at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory became the first computer to defeat a human in a chess-like game. The machine played the game with the simplified Los Alamos rules. And it eventually defeated a novice in only 23 moves.

However, when we think of games played by computers vs humans, Chess is mostly the only game we think of. But there are many more complex games that were mastered by the computer way before it learned to play chess. It’s important for us to understand what games can a machine play with humans beating them with its superhuman capabilities.

Sharing with you a few of the games (already discussed in the given video) where machines are excelling and beating humans providing us evidence of the competition between humans vs computers:

1. Mastermind (Timestamp – 14:00)

mastermind game
In 1970, a game called Mastermind was invented. It is a simple 2-player game based on code-breaking. This game resembles an earlier pencil and paper game known as Bulls and Cows. In 1977, Donald Knuth named mathematician demonstrated that it is possible to solve the pattern of code-breaker within five moves or less with the use of an algorithm that progressively reduced the number of possible patterns.

2. Backgammon (Timestamp – 14:44)

Backgammon game
Backgammon is considered to be a game of skill. However, always mistaken as a game of luck. It has several moves and World Championship. On July 15, 1979, a backgammon computer program beat the World Backgammon Champion in a match to 7 points. This is the first time a world champion in a recognized intellectual activity has been defeated by a man-made entity, proving computer vs human battles are won by computers.

3. Connect Four (Timestamp – 15:30)

Connect four game
Connect Four is a strategy-based board game that was solved by Victor Allis in 1988. There’s a Shannon C-type strategy program written for the game. This program is called VICTOR. It is based on nine strategic rules. Given the perfect moves, using these strategic rules, Victor can play real-time against opponents on 7*6 board, always winning with White.

4. Checkers (Timestamp – 17:05)

Checkers game
In 1990, there was an interesting championship announced by American Checkers Federation and English Draughts Association. This championship was introduced with the title, Man vs Machine World CHampionship. Chinook is the first computer program to win the world champion title in a competition against humans. In this Checkers match, Chinook became the first computer to defeat humans in a championship. Marion Tinsley won the match with four wins to Chinook’s two. They had a total of 33 draws.

5. Chess (Timestamp – 18:26)

Chess game
Chess is a widely famed 32 squared brain game. IBM developed a chess-playing expert system named Deep Blue. In 1996, it played the game against the world champion Gary Kasparov – the grandmaster in a six-game match where it lost 4-2. In 1997, this supercomputer was upgraded and the match was conducted again. In this six-game re-match, this supercomputer won 3 matches against the world champion and drew 1 match.

It has the capability to think 200 million moves in a second. This supercomputer was invented in India.

6. Othello or Reversi (Timestamp – 22:25)

Othello game
Michael Buro is regarded as quite a strong player of Othello also widely known as Reversi. He wrote a computer program named Logistello, which won against champion Takeshi Murakami 6:0 in this human vs computer encounter in 1997.

7. Awari (Timestamp – 23:43)

Awari game
Awari is a 3500 years old African game. This game has been programmed in Oracle which is a Java applet. In 2002, it was developed as part of research in order to solve Awari. This applet can be used in two modes, game mode and edit mode.
When the users set it to “game” mode and then play against the applet. They have the liberty to choose the playing levels. There are 5 playing levels – fair, good, strong, expert and perfect.

8. Scrabble (Timestamp – 24:50)

Scrabble game
Scrabble is a well-known word game. David Boys, in 1995, won the Scrabble Championship. Being a computer programmer, Boys got a chance to battle a software program named Quackle in 2006. Though he started off strong, he lost to the program in the final round of the 2006 Scrabble Open in Toronto.

9. Go (Timestamp – 26:34)

Go game
Go is an ancient Chinese game, that is considered the most complex game as the number of possible moves is more than the number of atoms in the universe. It’s more difficult than the game of chess. Yet AlphaGo beat humans, the top 4 players in Go proving, how for any Machine vs Humans match, it’s Artificial Intelligence making its space.

10. Rubix Cube (Timestamp – 28:10)

Rubiks cube game
Rubix Cube is an interesting colourful cube. When you look at it, you might want to hold it and play with it. But it’s quite a tough play. In cracking the Rubix Cube, the world record by humans is 4.26 seconds. While it’s mind-blowing to know that the Robot did it at 0.38 seconds. Again, Artificial Intelligence vs humans match and AI leads the way.

In the whole discussion, we can say that computers are paving the way to defeating humans. But wait, computers are developed by human brains only. Then is it the computer or the human brain that’s limitless?
This introduction to game-playing robots and Artificial Intelligence for kids is a hit with them and would kindle their interest in AI further. Don’t you believe it? Check out the attached video and witness the vivacious kids yourself.

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