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The idea of an automatic opponent to play Mornington Crescent with was originated, as with so much else in computer science, by Alan Turing.

Turing was introduced to Mornington Crescent while at Bletchley Park during the war (a cryptographer's mind being ideally suited to the more subtle elements of strategy). Turing posited that it should be possible to construct an automatic device to play the Game.

In fact, he later went further and suggested that if such a machine could persuade a human opponent that it was, itself, a human player then that device could be considered intelligent. He viewed this exercise as a more stringent corollary to the standard Turing Test, mere conversation being relatively trivial to synthesise.

Despite this early speculation, it is only recently that MC simulators (or sims as they are more commonly known) have been within the reach of technology. Sim games have become a regular feature at MC web sites, and offer a fruitful field of exploration for the ambitious programmer.

Even with this enthusiastic activity, Turing's dream of an entirely synthetic MC player which is capable of playing undetected against a human opponent is a long way away.

Note that 'sim' in this sense has nothing at all to do with the popular computer game The Sims. They are as distinct as cheese and some entirely different cheese.


(Actually, I did make a [Mornington Crescent Table for the Sims], a few years ago.)


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Last edited March 31, 2007 2:37 pm by Simons Mith (diff)