Inexpensive Chess Computer Holds Its Own Against Grand Master

ChessBrain Community :: We did it!!!

From the article:From the ChessBrain site:Since 1950 or so (see this chronology), people have been predicting that computers would be able to beat human beings at chess. It took perhaps 40 years, but this did come to pass. In the 1990s, personal computers became fast enough that chess software could beat many human players. However, Grand Master players could easily defeat simple chess software.

It took a team of people at IBM and millions of dollars in equipment to develop a chess computer that could compete with the best human players. But in 1997, the computer named Deep Blue was able to defeat Garry Kasparov in a well-publicized match. IBM discusses the Deep Blue machine on this page:The ChessBrain project takes a completely different approach. It is using CPU time from normal computers "donated" by people around the world. The software distributes the processing load of a chess game across those thousands of computers. The advantage of this approach is that the ChessBrain project can amass a very large amount of computing power when necessary from its network of donors. The other advantage, of course, is that this distributed chess computer is free.

The ChessBrain project also shows that, perhaps in 20 years, a desktop PC costing $500 will be able to beat the best human players. In 20 years, a single desktop machine will have the power of the thousands of computers in today's ChessBrain project.

Chess is a very complicated game, but computer scientists understood how to create a chess-playing computer decades ago. Then they simply had to wait as the computer hardware got more and more and more powerful. Eventually there was enough CPU power available for chess computers to beat the best human players.

In that same way, we will be able to wait 30 to 40 years or so and we will have $500 desktop computers that have the CPU power of the human brain. It just will not be that long. Then, 20 years later, a desktop machine will have the power of 1,000 human brains. 20 years after that, a desktop machine will have the power of 1,000,000 human brains, and so on. This CPU power will fuel the robotic revolution. See Robotic Nation for details.

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