Can an AI beat humans at games?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is around to stay. It is an emerging technology that has continued to evolve and continue to do some rather remarkable things throughout its continued existence.

artificial intelligence

Admittedly, there will be some things that AI has been able to do that has not been considered as remarkable as other things, whilst there are elements of the technology that have truly shocked many, especially when it comes down to gaming.

While places such as have benefited from the technology to provide some top games, some have seen AI beat humans at playing games, which is either a positive or a negative, depending on how it is looked at.

IBM’s Deep Blue paved the way

Of course, there is the famous chess battle between AI and a human that will instantly be recalled by many, as IBM’s Deep Blue system went up against a chess world champion under normal conditions in Gary Kasparov.

Unsurprisingly, there were a few initial teething problems as the then-chess champion would go on to win three of the first five games under timed conditions against the AI technology that had been created in 1996, with the other two games being drawn.

However, in 1997, Deep Blue went under several software upgrades that allowed for it to be in a position to try and defeat Kasparov. Indeed, whilst there will be some who questioned the validity of certain outcomes due to a human error made, the technology was able to win two of the six games played, with Kasparov winning one and the other three being drawn.

The game between human and Artificial Intelligence was just the first of many and helped pave the way for the future, which continued to feature IBM.

2011 saw IBM Watson win Jeopardy!

A hit TV show for American viewers, Jeopardy! was won by IBM’s Watson program back in 2011 as it showed the continued success that AI machines could have in beating humans at games.

IBM supercomputer

They took on Ken Jennings, a contestant who holds the record for the most consecutive games won and managed to beat him by producing a question-answering system intended to defeat the human.

Despite having been built and designed in 2005, Watson went up against Jennings – and Brad Rutter (one of the best Jeopardy! players at the time) – as they assumed there would be no way in which they would be beaten.

However, Watson managed to win two matches and earned a total of $77,147 to their $24,000 and $21,600 winnings respectively, before beating two members of congress.

Watson is still around today, as it has seen IBM be able to make a number of commercial products that include Watson Text to Speech, Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier and many others.

2019 AlphaStar

Gamers would find it hard to be beaten by AI technology when playing a real-time strategy game such as Starcraft; however, it happened in 2019.

AlphaStar managed to achieve a ranking that placed them in the top 0.2% of human players that had been played. Although it is far from perfect, it was considered a huge milestone for the technology and has shown plenty of promise.

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