The Dutch national supercomputer Huygens defeated two human Go professionals in an official match at the recent Taiwan Open 2009 tournament. The Huygens supercomputer was running the MoGo TITAN application, which was developed by the INRIA research organization in France and Maastricht University. Go has replaced chess as a test bed for artificial intelligence (AI) research because it is one of the last board games in which humans are still better players than computers. However, since 2006, after a new algorithm called Monte-Carlo Tree Search was developed, the level of Go programs has rapidly improved. The Huygens supercomputer running MoGo TITAN achieved its first victory in August 2008 at the 24th Annual Congress of the Go competition, when it defeated a professional Go player in an official match. At the Taiwan Open in February, MoGo TITAN set a world record by winning two matches against professional players. “This new milestone in AI research once again clearly demonstrates the great potential of Huygens in many nontraditional areas of usage of supercomputing,” says Anwar Osseyran, managing director of SARA Computing and Networking Services in Amsterdam, where the Huygens supercomputer is located.
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