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Bruce Wilcox mentioned in WIRED article on Go

I never knew this fascinating bit of history…

But it wasn’t until 1979 that a five-year project by computer scientist Bruce Wilcox produced a program capable of beating low-level amateurs. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Wilcox and his advisor collected detailed protocols from games played against James Kerwin, who soon after would leave for Japan to become the second-ever Western professional Go player.

Unlike successful chess programmers, Wilcox focused almost entirely on modeling expert intelligence, collecting a vast database of stone relationships from Kerwin’s games. His program divided the board into smaller, more manageable zones, and then used the database to generate possible moves, applying a hierarchal function to choose the best among them. Forward-looking searches like alpha-beta, long the cornerstone of AI gaming, were entirely absent from the program’s first incarnation

Then, somewhat abruptly, progress stalled. The programs had encountered an obstacle that also gives human players trouble.
During the development process, Wilcox became a very strong amateur player, an indispensable asset for early Go programmers, given that programs depended so much on a nuanced understanding of the game.

From The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game that Computers Still Can’t Win

Nice work, Bruce!


  [ # 1 ]

thanks. was a former life.


  [ # 2 ]

Life has even been better since then grin.


  [ # 3 ]

Congrats on the mention.  smile


  [ # 4 ]

Go Bruce!


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