A machine that composes chess problems
Friday, November 7, 2014
Abstract: Automatic chess problem composers are relatively rare compared to chess-playing programs. This is arguably because they are expected to demonstrate more creativity than is needed to just play well; and because creativity, as a process, is still poorly understood scientifically. In previous research, a computational chess aesthetics model was developed and incorporated into a computer program called Chesthetica that can be used to automatically evaluate the beauty of thousands of three-move chess problems in a way that correlates well with human assessment. However, this alone was insufficient to imbue a computer with the ability to independently compose chess problems that people might find interesting. So a new artificial intelligence approach called the DSNS (digital synaptic neural substrate) was developed that enables a computer to become ‘inspired’ by the different types of objects fed into it, such as photographs of people, painting masterpieces, classical music, chess tournament games and other chess problems. Using this technology, the same computer program is now often able to compose challenging and interesting three-move chess problems entirely on its own and indefinitely. Furthermore, the DSNS technology is scalable and can, in principle, be applied to any domain that requires creativity, such as protein folding which is important in the search for cures to many diseases.