Press Releases

Will computers rule the world? – University of Reading

Release Date : 21 November 2007

Seen the Steven Spielberg film AI? Well the University of Reading is offering the public a wonderful chance to go behind the scenes of the fascinating world of artificial intelligence in the next lecture in its renowned Public Lecture series..

Dr Will Browne, from the University's School of Systems Engineering, presents 'Will humans continue to win? Playing games with artificial intelligence' on Tuesday 27 November.

In this third talk of the 2007/2008 series, Dr Browne shows how the University takes games playing to the next level in order to compete with humans. Find out the achievements, current limitations and what we have learnt about machine intelligence versus human brain skills through playing games.

Dr Browne said: "Playing games with artificial intelligence (AI) is fun,but the impact of intelligent agents on everyday life may be much darker. Does your online poker opponent have the benefit of silicon-based memory? Is your second-life friend real? And what happens if your pension fund gets miss-invested by a computer?

"Games allow machine learning techniques to be developed to rival human capabilities," he continued. "Games such as Chess or GO also represent a level playing field, which helps monitor the advances of machine intelligence. Chess computers beat world champion grandmasters by searching many different pathways through a game, but they do not recognize patterns in similar board positions. In games where patterns and strategies conquer exhaustive search there is still room for human like skills."

What makes the lectures so popular is the quality of speaker, their ability to engage the audience and of course some wonderfully varied topics. They offer a unique opportunity to learn about the research, teaching and people that make the University a world-class institute.

The lecture begins at 8pm on Tuesday 27 November and will be held in the Palmer Building on the University's Whiteknights campus. It is free to attend and no ticket is required. Large groups should telephone in advance.

For further information, please contact the University's Communications Office on (tel) 0118 378 7110 or email


For media enquiries only, please contact James Barr, the University's Press Assistant on: 0118 378 7115


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