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MAN VS. MACHINE: THE BATTLE CONTINUES
New strategy game makes $10,000 challenge to the artificial intelligence community
CLEVELAND, OH - Nov. 20, 2002 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- The debate over who is the world's best chess player, man or machine, came to a halt in 1997 when world chess champion Garry Kasparov was defeated by Deep Blue, a chess playing computer developed by IBM. Suddenly it was clear that computers had finally dominated the game of chess, but the debate about the real intelligence of computers continues. In an attempt to show that computers are far from having the same level of intelligence as humans and in hopes of spurring major breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence, a new strategy game called Arimaa, has been developed.
Designed to use the same board and pieces provided in a standard chess set, Arimaa is the first game created intentionally to be difficult for computers to play. Developed by computer engineer Omar Syed, the game is actually simpler and more intuitive than chess for human players but a thousand times more complex for even the fastest computers.
"It is our hope that Arimaa will promote research in the artificial intelligence community to seek new and different approaches to such difficult problems and possibly help to make breakthroughs that will have applications in other fields," said Syed.
In an effort to promote research and further develop the intellectual capabilities of computers, Syed is offering a reward of $10,000 USD to the first person or company who develops a computer program that defeats a chosen human representative in an official Arimaa match before the year 2020. The complete rules of the game are available at the www.arimaa.com website where visitors can also play the game online with others.
"Arimaa has all the depth of chess and more," said technologist and game tester Keith Carter. "Flexible setup options broaden the opening game and flexible move options add layers and layers of choice and strategy."
When world chess champion Garry Kasparov was defeated in 1997 by chess-playing computer Deep Blue, it created much discussion around the fact that computers had finally dominated the game of chess. With another match between Kasparov and computer champion Deep Junior just weeks away, Arimaa will challenge the real intelligence of such game playing computers and spark further discussion about a computer's ability to think like a human.
Arimaa was developed by Omar Syed in response to his own interest in computer intelligence and the game of chess. Syed holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a M.S. in Electronic Engineering and is currently a member of the technical staff at 4You Net Services, Inc. Prior to that, Syed worked at the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Raytheon Company. After years of research and testing together with his eight-year-old son Aamir, Syed finally unveils the Arimaa game on the website, www.arimaa.com.
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