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15/05/2009

MoGo challenges Catalin Taranu to a game of Go

A new software program capable of winning the battle between Man and Machine. On 22 May, at the "Numériquement Vôtre" exhibition, MoGo, the computer program that plays the game of Go, will pit its wits against Catalin Taranu, European champion of the Asiatic board game. More than just game software, MoGo is an invaluable tool used by researchers to solve complex problems.

Following Kasparov's defeat as world chess champion, the time has perhaps come for Catalin Taranu, European Go champion, to lose his title to a computer program. On 22 May, at the "Numériquement Vôtre" (“Digitally Yours”) exhibition in Rennes, France; Inria's MoGo program will attempt to win a game of Go against the champion. Since 2007, MoGo has won numerous matches against professional players, but never, until now, a contest consisting of four matches. On the sidelines of the contest, Rengo, the Go players club of Rennes, will initiate visitors into the mysteries of the game, which is extremely popular throughout Asia.

MoGo's ability to win at Go, a game that is much more complex than chess, makes it especially valuable in the area of Artificial Intelligence. In fact, it is able to simulate thousands of games a second, to learn from these simulations, as well as from its mistakes. For the TAO project-team at the Inria Saclay - Ile-de-France Research Centre who developed the program, it is a bona fide research tool. Apart from the game itself, it can be used to solve complex problems. For example, it can determine the electricity production mode to be used in view of the weather conditions and geographical features of an area, or the users' choice while also factoring in differences in consumption over time. Catalin Taranu may well have met his match.

Keywords: MoGo Team TAO Catalin Taranu Game of Go Centre de recherche Inria Saclay - Île-de-France

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