AIs Have Mastered Chess. Will Go Be Next?

Randomness could trump expertise in this ancient game of strategy

11 min read
A Go board board covered with a grid of closely spaced lines and bean-size black and white stones.
Photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Stylist: Dominique Baynes

Chou Chun-hsun, one of the world’s top players of the ancient game of Go, sat hunched over a board covered with a grid of closely spaced lines. To the untrained eye, the bean-size black and white stones scattered across the board formed a random design. To Chou, each stone was part of a complex campaign between two opposing forces that were battling to capture territory. The Go master was absorbed in thought as he considered various possibilities for his next move and tried to visualize how each option would affect the course of the game. Chou’s strategy relied on a deep understanding of Go, the result of almost 20 years of painstaking study.

Although Chou looked calm, he knew he was in big trouble. It was 22 August 2009, and Chou was matched against a Go-playing computer running Fuego, an open-source program that we developed at the University of Alberta, in Canada, with contributions from researchers at IBM and elsewhere. The program was playing at the level of a grand master—yet it knew nothing about the game beyond the basic rules.

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Acer Goes Big on Glasses-Free, 3D Monitors—Look Out, VR

Is this what’s needed to bring augmented reality to the home office?

4 min read
A standing tablet computer shows a blow out of a car that appears to be coming out of the display.

Content creators are a key target for Acer's glasses-free 3D.

Acer

Acer, the world’s fifth largest PC brand, wants to take the growing AR/VR market by the horns with its SpatialLabs glasses-free stereoscopic 3D displays.

First teased in 2021 in a variant of Acer’s ConceptD 7 laptop, the technology expands this summer in a pair of portable monitors, the SpatialLabs View and View Pro, and select Acer Predator gaming laptops. The launch is paired with AI-powered software for converting existing 2D content into stereoscopic 3D.

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DARPA Wants a Better, Badder Caspian Sea Monster

Liberty Lifter X-plane will leverage ground effect

4 min read
A rendering of a grey seaplane with twin fuselages and backwards-facing propellers
DARPA

Arguably, the primary job of any military organization is moving enormous amounts of stuff from one place to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some of that stuff is weaponry, but the vast majority are things that support that weaponry—fuel, spare parts, personnel, and so on. At the moment, the U.S. military has two options when it comes to transporting large amounts of payload. Option one is boats (a sealift), which are efficient, but also slow and require ports. Option two is planes (an airlift), which are faster by a couple of orders of magnitude, but also expensive and require runways.

To solve this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to combine traditional sealift and airlift with the Liberty Lifter program, which aims to “design, build, and flight test an affordable, innovative, and disruptive seaplane” that “enables efficient theater-range transport of large payloads at speeds far exceeding existing sea lift platforms.”

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Edge Learning: Adapting to a Changing Environment at the Edge

Going above and beyond the call of duty at the edge

1 min read

Edge Learning is the capability of an edge device to adapt and learn to new data points/objects that have not been part of its initial training dataset. AlphaICs, a leading AI company developed edge learning PoC with a grant from a US Government Research Organization.