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IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 3, Number 3, Page 210 (1959)
Nontopical Issue
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Some Studies in Machine Learning Using the Game of Checkers

by A. L. Samuel
Two machine-learning procedures have been investigated in some detail using the game of checkers. Enough work has been done to verify the fact that a computer can be programmed so that it will learn to play a better game of checkers than can be played by the person who wrote the program. Furthermore, it can learn to do this in a remarkably short period of time (8 or 10 hours of machine-playing time) when given only the rules of the game, a sense of direction, and a redundant and incomplete list of parameters which are thought to have something to do with the game, but whose correct signs and relative weights are unknown and unspecified. The principles of machine learning verified by these experiments are, of course, applicable to many other situations.
Related Subjects: Artificial intelligence; Checkers and chess; Digital Computers; Game theory; Programming, programs, and programming languages