Meet first Chess robot in history, The Mechanical Turk (also known as The Turk or Automaton Chess player.
Top Chess engines in modern times like Stockfish and Leela Chess Zero far surpass that of human capabilities. But what about before computers even existed? In this post, discover the first Chess robot ever made in the history of Chess, The Mechanical Turk. We explore how its existence influenced the innovation of the modern computerized chess games.
History of the Mechanical Turk
In chess history, the Mechanical Turk is the top-rated automaton. It was created in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen in Vienna. His main reason for developing this Turk was to fascinate Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria. In the late 18th century, based on deceptions, the Mechanical Turk was approved as a robot that could engage in the chess game at the highest level.
Features and How It Functioned
The Mechanical Turk machine comprised an extended base whose top held a chessboard. To the box, the upper half of a man who wore adjustable robes and a turban on his head was glued to it. There were cog and gear wheels and clockwork on the inside of this Turk machine.
How the Mechanical Turk Functioned
Before the Turk played chess, the viewing audience was given a clear opening by its inventor to assure them that it was a robot. Von opened Its cabinet’s doors and lit candles on each segment. This was done to prevent the presence of a human. After closing the cabinet, he would invite an opponent to play against this ‘robot .’The machine would use the guy attached to it to play by moving the chess pieces. Turk started by turning his head from one side to another. This was meant to study the chessboard before concluding what would be his first opening. He would lug his left arm to the front, broaden his fingers and shift the chess piece to a different square before resolving which move to take.
Surprisingly, the Mechanical Turk has triumphed over many of its opponents and lost a few. It immediately discerned when its competitor made wrong moves. Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin were among those who played against this Turk. How it was executed was kept discrete for over 50 years until the 19th century. This is from an illusion that the Mechanical Turk cunningly had a concealed slot where an expert human operator was kept.
The Turk’s first illustration of playing chess was at the Viennese court in 1770 in the presence of Archduchess Maria Theresa. It has had close to 84 years of these exhibitions around Europe and America.
Is the Mechanical Turk Still in Existence?
In 1854, the original Mechanical Turk was damaged in a fire at a museum, although some of its segments were recovered. Mechanical Turk was assembled again in 1984 but without the concealed human operator as the initial one. Today, the Turk is not human-controlled; instead, its moves are commanded by a chess computer. Its chessboard is that of the previous Turk. The chess master implanted in the last Turk took him 200 years to be outdated. Nowadays, machines surpass humans in playing chess despite the that humans have many things they can do better. Computers are unable to translate dictations compared to humans authentically.
The Influence Mechanical Turk Had On the Advancement of Computer Chess Games Charles Babbage, an English Inventor, was not convinced of the Mechanical Turk’s ability to play and win against its challengers. He termed it fake until it defeated him twice in 1819. After this experience, he thought of developing a programmable computer. Together with Ada Lovelance, they established the analytical engine, which was the initial layout for an overall purpose computer. From this, he grew interested in creating a machine that could play chess.
Before he developed one, a Spanish mathematician Leonardo Yorres Y Quevedo, dependent on Charles’ innovations, established the El Ajedrecista. This became the first undeceiving automaton machine that could play chess without any human assistance. It was assembled in 1912 and has been credited for being the first computer game in history. It anteceded the present computerized chess masters of the 1990s, such as the Deep blue.
What Is The Amazon Mechanical Turk?
Amazon named its website after the Mechanical Turk of the 18th century, the chess-playing automation mentioned above. The Amazon Mechanical Turk is a website where firms employ remotely positioned ‘crowd workers’ to execute different tasks that a computer cannot handle. This labor has been concealed behind a computer to assist the employers in accomplishing works that a Turk machine cannot perform.
The Amazon Mechanical Turk has shown evidence of how there has been a transition. Earlier, human ingenious was positioned as machines compared to now, where there has been the utilization of that model to form artificially intelligent devices. The requester can permit several workers they want to work on a given task.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does The Turk Compare To the Present Computer Chess Automated Games Such As the Deep Blue?
Initially, the Mechanical Turk could only serve its purpose if the machine had an installation of a human operator inside. On the other hand, the present computer chess automated gameplay was dependent on the chess games other grandmasters had engaged in. This necessitated a machine to be equipped with information concerning the openings, moves made, and solutions from which it could master.
Chess AI machines replaced the Mechanical Turk at the end of the 20th century. This was from the increment of powerful chess software and the establishment of computing technologies.
Since then, the human vs. machine in the Chess community has come a long way. Chess algorithms have improved and eventually led to one of the most famous games where a Chess engine finally beat the World Champion. The engine made by IBM, Deep Blue, beat Garry Kasparov in a match, making history. It became the first computerized chess-playing system that emerged victorious in both a chess game and a chess match against a ruling world champion under frequent time inhibitions. Now, Chess engines regularly beat the best Chess players in the world.
Humans once controlled the Mechanical Turk machines compared to now, where they have been computerized without needing human assistance. The original Mechanical Turk has contributed significantly to developing the automated chess games most of you engage in. Scientists were motivated to create their own intelligent machines.
Did you enjoy reading about the Turk? If you did, you might be interesting in reading about other Chess programs, engines, and AI such as Komodo and Houdini.