Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Architect of #1 Go Program Executed

Excerpts from an article by Sonni Effron and published in the record edition of the LA Times, Aug. 19, 1999. Provided under "fair use" (original article is almost three times as long).

"...Silver Igo beat 40 other programs from around the world to win the FOST cup, run by an artificial-intelligence group, in Tokyo in August 1998.

But soon after, the Chinese author of one of the most successful go programs, Chen Zhixing, accused the Silver Igo program of having plagiarized his "Handtalk." Chen... ...demanded the return of the FOST cup title.

Masahiro Okasaki, who was the chief judge for the tournament, said Silver Igo was not a direct copy of Handtalk, although like many programs, it imitated the ideas of the powerful Chinese program.

The legalities of software plagiarism remain vague in Japan, and the North Koreans were allowed to keep their title. But in a bit of intrigue around the same time, the Silver Star head was executed in North Korea, reportedly for political reasons having nothing to do with the go program, according to Okasaki.

...Chen, in a telephone interview, said he has had no response to his allegations.

Meanwhile, Silver Star has been shut down, and the 22 or 23 people working in the games section have been moved to North Korea's largest computer enterprise, called KCC, according to Silver Star Japan's Yamamoto."