About this book
Why did I write this book? I'm still not sure. After all, I'm a researcher, which means I think I know how to write technical papers. But writing for a n- technical audience is something I know nothing about. It took a lot of effort before I could force myself to sit down to write the first word. Once I did, however, it was hard not to stop! When I started this project, I didn't know that I had a lot to say and, in some sense, the results show this. The book is much longer than I even imagined it would be. Worse yet is that there is a lot of material that I decided not to include. It's a good thing that the publishers decided to limit how long the book could be! However, after much soul searching, I think I now know the reasons why I wrote this book. First and foremost, this book tells an interesting story. It's about the life of a checkers-playing computer program, Chinook, from its creation in 1989 to its retirement in 1996. In reality the story revolves around two people with different views of the program. As the creator of Chinook, I wanted to push the program to become the best player in the world, in much the same way that a father might encourage his son to excel at sports.
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