Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ChessTweets, a community chess game on Twitter


Is it possible to harness the hive mind of Twitter followers and create an automated machine? The ChessTweets Experiment attempts to find that out.

Unlike other online chess games, ChessTweets is not a one-to-one game. It’s a community chess game where a large number of players take part in a single game. On ChessTweets participants are asked to suggest a move on the game. The move isn’t executed but recorded against each player’s Twitter username. The game then examines each participant's relative skill and applies a formulated weight to each and every suggested move such that every mind plays an important and unique role. After a predefined number of moves have been recorded (or hours elapsed?), ChessTweets calculates the best move and executes it. After this, voting for the next move begins and the game continues.


As more and more information about its participants becomes available and as tiers of skill-levels distinguish themselves, the hive-mind will grow and learn in an artificial-intelligence-type manner. If the machine develops with any measure of success, it will beg a greater question: when given a method for weighting an individual's performance at answering closed-information questions (those whose answers depend on hidden or unknown information), can a similar hive-mind machine produce optimal results?

A player can either take part in an existing game or start a fresh one. There is also a provision to create private one-to-one games. Remember that each community game takes several weeks to complete!

ChessTweets is an interesting concept and possibly one of the best uses of Twitter that I have seen. Playing chess is definitely better than tweeting what you had for lunch.


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