ConMan wrote:just john wrote:ConMan wrote:Which is true. But do you know just how much horsepower and time? Claude Shannon calculated an approximation of how many possible games of chess there are, and got an answer on the order of 10^120. Assuming each of those games takes up ~1KB of space, you're talking about 10^110 TB of data. This is not a manageable amount of data, and some serious theory is needed to reduce that space to something usable.

That's possible games. I betcha a no-prize that the number of possible game boards may be lower, especially when unreachable ones are pruned.

Well, sure. In the same paper, Shannon put an upper bound on the number of possible boards as 10^43. Which means you're still looking at something like 10^30 GB of storage just for the boards. And you still need to find some way of going from "this is the state of the board" to "this is the best possible move" - which means you're going to have to find some way of investigating those 10^120 possible games to determine which ones lead to favourable outcomes.

That's the forward-linking part.

Remember, you're typing at somebody whose "first computer" required rooms full of air conditioning to support it, so getting from here to 10^30 GB of storage doesn't sound like such a leap to me. Far more likely than personal jet packs.