RGG FAQ Part 6 Section 3
This page is part of the rec.games.go FAQ on SL, and cannot be edited directly. A copy of this page can be edited by following the link at the bottom of this page, but please read the FAQ Format Guidelines first.
For more details on the workings of the FAQ, see rec.games.go FAQ on SL.
6.3: How strong are computers?
It is a surprise to most people that there is no software available today which can beat an averagelevel human player.
The level of play of the strongest playing software today is estimated at around 8 Kyu (and even this is heavily contested; see for instance an interesting analysis by David MECHNER).
The main reason for this is said to be that it is difficult to estimate the value of a given move. This makes it difficult to program a routine which can choose the 'best' move. The true value of a move may not become apparent until 30 plays later in local fights, and sometimes literally 100 plays later, for endgame optimisation moves.
Another reason is that, because of the large playing area and the simple rules, there is always a very large number of legal moves which are even reasonably plausible moves. This results in a very large game tree if 'dumb' search algorithms are used.
Considerable resources are going and have gone into the development of strong programs.
For those who are interested in the subject, there are various places to start a search:
If you are interested in computer Go you may want to join the computergo mailing list. The computergo mailing list was established in Feb 93 to discuss programming computers to play Go. The volume of mail on this list is rather low, but sometimes goes up in bursts.
To join the list, send an email to 'email@example.com' and put 'SUBSCRIBE COMPUTERGO first_name last_name' in the body of the message. (Remove all quotes and fill in your own name). You will receive a confirmation detailing how to use the list.