I know this class is about emergence, but since we're frequently dabbling in the area of artificial intelligence, I feel like I can't pass up the opportunity to post this. I came across this site last year and recently rediscovered it today. It's an interesting chess-playing AI applet called the Thinking Machine 4
. When it's the computer's move, it searches the board for the best move; what makes this interesting is that while the computer is "deciding" it's move, it actually maps the possible moves and counter-moves with colored lines. It reminded me of the idea of how an agent should determine how its actions change the world around it--which is something we discussed in Intro to AI. As the gameplay progresses, it's evident that the program makes more specific moves. I don't know if I would quantify this as intelligence though. Could it be that the search tree the program is traversing is becoming smaller? The method by which a typical AI program uses to quantify a 'good' move doesn't usually change during a game--to my knowledge at least. With that said, it's hard for me to say if the moves are becoming 'intelligent' or if the 'good' moves are just a product of the current state of the board. On a more technical note, the programmers used something the quiescence search method
in conjunction with alpha-beta pruning
in order to cut down on the size of the search tree. It's pretty neat, so check it out. Enjoy!