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Last week, to great fanfare in the world of Artificial Intelligence, it was announced that the game of checkers (better known as draughts in the UK) had been solved by the University of Alberta’s Chinook project—the most complex game at which a computer has ever become unbeatable. As some commentators have observed, even God could only draw a game against Chinook, something that may seem slightly alarming, or even blasphemous, to amateur theologians.

Today is another interesting day for AI, as it sees the most sophisticated poker-playing programme yet developed taking on two of the world’s finest human players in…

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