Reading Comprehension
Verbal Ability

 Back to Questions

Common Information

Currently the focus of research into artificial intelligence (AI) is on relatively limited applications, including guiding airplanes and missiles, understanding language, detecting credit card fraud, and diagnosing medical conditions from electrocardiograms. While these avenues certainly contain promise for commercial and industrial interests, the populace at large typically is more interested in a slightly less consequential application of AI. In 1997, Deep Blue, a chess playing computer program, defeated grand master Gary Kasparov in a tournament, marking the first time a computer was able to best a human world champion.

But these more "frivolous" applications of AI are actually valuable indicators of the state of technology. Computer engineers are constantly reviving and reinventing the programming algorithms in an effort to make computers think more like people do. And the exponential increases in processing and storage technology are allowing artificial intelligence researchers to greatly increase the power of AI programs while simultaneously reducing the size and computing needs of the machines. For example, the Deep Blue program required 256 specialized processors to analyze the millions and millions of combinations of moves. Each of these processors was about one hundred times faster than a standard home computer, which means Deep Blue was about 25,600 times faster than a 1997 personal computer.

Only five years later, in 2002, AI engineers unleashed a new chess playing program, Deep Fritz. Deep Fritz played Vladimir Kramnik, the highest ranked chess player in the world, to a draw, but this result was anything but a failure to the AI community. Whereas Deep Blue required 256 processors to achieve its victory, Deep Fritz had a mere eight. Deep Blue could analyze 200 million moves per second, but Deep Fritz could deal with only 2.5 million. Yet Deep Fritz’s chess playing abilities more closely resemble those of a person. Deep Blue was able to defeat Kasparov by brute strength alone, calculating millions of possible moves and counter moves. Deep Fritz played Kramnik to a draw by using advanced pattern recognition skills, which allowed it to be competitive despite considering fewer move combinations.


Common Information Question: 1/4

The main idea of the passage is that:


computer chess programs will soon be able to defeat any human challenger


computer chess programs are now being designed to be more efficient and perform fewer calculations


certain applications of AI technology provide insight into advances in the field


the public pays too much attention to frivolous applications of AI technology


the Deep Fritz chess program is more successful than the Deep Blue program

 Hide Ans

Option(C) is correct

This is a main idea question. The first paragraph introduces the topic, which is AI applications. The second paragraph indicates that the "frivolous" chess programs provide a marker of the current state of AI technology.

The final paragraph supports this by giving technical details of a recent AI application.

Choice C is the best match for the passage. The other answer choices don’t go far enough; they detail parts of the passage but not its entire scope.

(0) Comment(s)