How minimax AI anticipates your every move and beats you at your own favorite game

We live in a time in which AIs are able or will soon be able to perform many tasks better than humans can.

As evident in recent news (like the widely spread news story about Google’s AlphaGo beating the best Go player in the world in 2016), AIs are especially good at playing board games (chess included!)

What is Minimax: A demonstration by Min and Max️

So what does the minimax algorithm actually do? It’s easier to understand with an example. Let’s look at a simple game. There are two players. We’ll call them Min and Max. We’ll use the tree chart below for our game.

How Does Minimax Work: A look into the mind of minimax as he plays tic tac toe

We’ve looked at the basic idea of minimax and the thought process involved. Now it’s time to look at how we actually make use of the thought process.

How Can You Use Minimax: What are the applications and limitations of the algorithm?

Along with tic-tac-toe, minimax has numerous other applications. However, although minimax is a world-class tic-tac-toe player, there are certain limitations to the power of the algorithm.

  • As we saw in the example above, minimax is great at tic-tac-toe and other simple games
  • Due to the nature of the algorithm, minimax excels at any 1v1 competition where there is a specific goal determined for both players
  • Minimax can actually be used for more complex games like chess!

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