Thursday, June 17, 2021

New project! Computer vision to identify the layout of a backgammon board.

I still play quite a lot of backgammon, in real life. My first project to create a backgammon bot did not, as I hoped, make me a noticeably better gammon player - instead, I just created a bot that could play (much!) better than me.

So my next project is aiming to help me figure out what to do when I'm stuck in a real life game: I want to take a picture of the board with my phone and then have my bot figure out what the best move is. Of course this isn't something to use in a competitive match! But in a friendly game it might be an interesting part of the conversation.

It feels like it would make a pretty handy phone app, but mostly it's an interesting computer vision/machine learning problem that, like my original TD-Gammon experiment, will let me improve my skills.

And like the last project, I'll document my approach as I experiment along with this. I'm feeling somewhat less confident about this project than the last one, since with TD-Gammon there was already a published result that I was pretty confident that I could match. This one has a less certain conclusion, but hopefully I'll end up with something that works. Let's see!

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