6.034 Artificial Intelligence - Recitations, fall 2004 online slides on games

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Why Study Game Playing?

  • Games allow us to experiment with easier versions of real-world situations
  • Hostile agents act against our goals
  • Games have a finite set of moves
  • Games are fairly easy to represent
  • Good idea to decide about what to think
  • Perfection is unrealistic, must settle for good
  • One of the earliest areas of AI
    • Claude Shannon and Alan Turing wrote chess programs in 1950s
  • The opponent introduces uncertainty
  • The environment may contain uncertainty (backgammon)
  • Search space too hard to consider exhaustively
    • Chess has about \(10^{40}\) legal positions
    • Efficient and effective search strategies even more critical
  • Games are fun to target!