Playing at the Edge of AI

1st Edition - September 26, 2001

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  • Author: David Fogel
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558607835
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080500188

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Blondie24 tells the story of a computer that taught itself to play checkers far better than its creators ever could by using a program that emulated the basic principles of Darwinian evolution--random variation and natural selection-- to discover on its own how to excel at the game. Unlike Deep Blue, the celebrated chess machine that beat Garry Kasparov, the former world champion chess player, this evolutionary program didn't have access to strategies employed by human grand masters, or to databases of moves for the endgame moves, or to other human expertise about the game of chekers. With only the most rudimentary information programmed into its "brain," Blondie24 (the program's Internet username) created its own means of evaluating the complex, changing patterns of pieces that make up a checkers game by evolving artificial neural networks---mathematical models that loosely describe how a brain works.It's fitting that Blondie24 should appear in 2001, the year when we remember Arthur C. Clarke's prediction that one day we would succeed in creating a thinking machine. In this compelling narrative, David Fogel, author and co-creator of Blondie24, describes in convincing detail how evolutionary computation may help to bring us closer to Clarke's vision of HAL. Along the way, he gives readers an inside look into the fascinating history of AI and poses provocative questions about its future.

Key Features

  • Brings one of the most exciting areas of AI research to life by following the story of Blondie24's development in the lab through her evolution into an expert-rated checkers player, based on her impressive success in Internet competition.
  • Explains the foundations of evolutionary computation, simply and clearly.
  • Presents complex material in an engaging style for readers with no background in computer science or artificial intelligence.
  • Examines foundational issues surrounding the creation of a thinking machine.
  • Debates whether the famous Turing Test really tests for intelligence.
  • Challenges deeply entrenched myths about the successes and implication of some well-known AI experiments.
  • Shows Blondie's moves with checkerboard diagrams that readers can easily follow.


Popular Science readers, Artificial Intelligence readers and academics

Table of Contents

  • Part 1 - Setting the Stage
    Chapter 1 - Intelligent Machines: Imitating Life
    Chapter 2 - Deep Blue: A Triumph of AI?
    Chapter 3 - Building An Artificial Brain
    Chapter 4 - Evolutionary Computation: Putting Nature to Work
    Chapter 5 - Blue Hawaii: Natural Selection
    Chapter 6 - Checkers
    Chapter 7 - Chinook: The Man-machine Checkers Champion
    Chapter 8 - Samuel's Learning Machine
    Chapter 9 - The Samuel-Newell Challenge

    Part 2 - The Making of Blondie
    Chapter 10 - Evolving in the Checkers Environment
    Chapter 11 - In The Zone
    Chapter 12 - A Repeat Performance
    Chapter 13 - A New Dimension
    Chapter 14 - Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle
    Chapter 15 - Blondie24
    Epilogue: The Future of Artificial Intelligence
    Appendix: Your Honor, I Object!



    About the Author

Product details

  • No. of pages: 406
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2001
  • Published: September 26, 2001
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558607835
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080500188

About the Author

David Fogel

David B. Fogel is the CEO of Natural Selection, Inc., a company which addresses complex, real-world problems in the areas of industry, medicine, and defense by applying the techniques of evolutionary computation, neural networks, fuzzy systems, knowledge-based systems, and stochastic processes, among other technologies. Dr. Fogel was the founding president of the Evolutionary Programming Society and was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 1999. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation and serves on the editorial boards of several journals including BioSystems, Fuzzy Sets and Systems, and Journal of Scheduling.

Affiliations and Expertise

Natural Selection, Inc.

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