Reading Comprehension
Verbal Ability

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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 beat 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: 3/4

The author implies that human chess players:


will not lose to Deep Fritz


will soon be unable to defeat most computer chess programs


are not able to analyze possible move combinations when playing chess


rely on pattern recognition skills when playing chess


could potentially beat Deep Fritz but not Deep Blue

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Option(D) is correct

This is an inference question. In order to answer this question, you need to find the part of the passage that discusses how human chess players play. While this information is not stated directly, the third paragraph is the key. The passage compares Deep Blue to Deep Fritz and states that Deep Fritz plays chess more like a human does. While Deep Blue uses its tremendous calculating ability, Deep Fritz relies on "advanced pattern recognition skills."

If Deep Fritz uses these abilities and plays like a person does, then the inference is that human chess players use pattern recognition, as choice D states.

Choice A is not implied by the passage; it might be true but it is not an inference.

Choice B goes too far because the passage only talks about two programs, not "most" chess programs.

Choice C is not supported by the passage, nor is choice E - all you know for sure is that one person tied Deep Fritz and one person lost to Deep Blue, but you can’t say in general how human chess players will perform.

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