Since the development of Artificial Intelligence, technology’s boundaries have been pushed, challenging it to think and act faster than a human. The best minds have been pitted against machines to see who comes out on top. Take a look at some of the best human vs. computer contests over the years.
Developed by Hans J. Berliner, the backgammon-playing program BKG 9.8 defeated Italian world champion Villa 7-1, becoming the first computer program to defeat a human champion in a board game.
Developed by a team at Canada’s University of Alberta, the checkers-playing program challenged U.S. legend Tinsley in August 1992 and eventually lost 4-2 (with 33 draws). A rematch was planned for August 1994; however, Tinsley had to retire after six games due to health reasons. Fellow checkers expert Don Lafferty took his place at the game, drawing the match after 20 rounds.
Making a strong statement on behalf of artificial intelligence, IBM supercomputer Deep Blue defeated the then world chess champion Kasparov on May 11. It forced him to resign in less than 20 moves. This marked the first time a computer program defeated a world chess champion in a match under tournament regulations. The win came in a rematch, after Kasparov had defeated the computer in their first match in February 1996.
Developed by Dutch computer chess programmer Ed Schröder, the REBEL program faced off against the then world number two Anand in eight games of chess. While REBEL won in the first four blitz games and two semi-blitz games, Anand won the final two games, played under regular tournament rules.
After beating around 100 competitors, former world Scrabble champion Boys took on Quackle in the final round of 2006 Scrabble Open held in Toronto, Canada. An open-source program developed at MIT, Quackle was defeated by Boys in the first two rounds. However, the software made an impressive comeback in the final three rounds, and won the game.
Enhanced Automatic Robotic Launcher, or E.A.R.L., the one-armed bowling robot developed by United States Bowling Congress (USBC) took on Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) veteran Barnes in a match held at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas, U.S. The machine was defeated 259-209.
Weighing in at 340 lbs (154.22 kg), the battlebot Ziggy, built by Canadian team CM Robotics, challenged former San Francisco 49ers’ Nedney in a kickoff. Both started kicking from the 20-yard line and then gradually went backwards as the game progressed. At the 40-yard line, a strong wind let Nedney triumph over the robot.
Named after the first IBM CEO, Thomas J. Watson, the question answering computer appeared on the American TV game show “Jeopardy!” against two former champions, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. When the show was recorded on Jan. 14, the computer was loaded with 4 TB of data, including the full text of Wikipedia, but was not connected to the Internet. Watson went on to win the competition along with $1 million (£772,600).
Developed by Google DeepMind, AlphaGo is programmed to play the Chinese board game: Go. Between March 9 and 15, it was challenged by 18-time world Go champion Lee Seedol (R). AlphaGo won four out of the five games.
Designed to play no-limit Texas hold ’em poker, the Libratus program challenged four of the best poker players – Dong Kim, Jason Les, Jimmy Chou and Daniel McAulay – in a 20-day tournament which ended Jan. 30. Titled the Brains vs Artificial Intelligence competition, the event was held at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. The program defeated all the humans, winning over $1.7 million (£1.3 million) in chips.