A significant activity at AI Factory this quarter has been the creation of an innovative generic tutorial-writing language, which is currently being used to generate a teaching system for Shogi. This is a more accessible alternative to textbook learning, providing a dynamic visual and interactive teaching system, which might even add significantly to Shogi literacy as a whole. The tutor system is much more accessible and easier to use than conventional text-based learning systems, so has the potential to bring Shogi to a much wider audience.
The core design is very flexible, so that an existing tutor system can be extended to support add-on teaching components. This is not just a serial question-and-answer based system, but easily allows open tests with multiple solutions, where the user can provide multiple different sets of solutions to the same test. The system also allows the tutor to respond intelligently to incorrect solutions provided. The visual control that the language allows also means the tutorial can present lessons and tests in a flexible visual format. This system will also be incorporated for other games.
The Shogi tutorial currently under development is being created by Reijer Grimbergen, who we want to welcome as a new contributing engineer at AI Factory. Reijer has already been involved in a supportive role in our Shogi work for some time, as he is both a Shogi expert (previously ranked the top European Shogi player) and is also the author of his own shogi program SPEAR. He has also contributed newsletter articles on the World Computer Shogi Championship. His knowledge of Shogi is significantly greater than that of our own in-house personnel, so the tutorial is in good hands. Reijer Grimbergen is a lecturer in the Department of Informatics at Yamagata University.
We would like to also welcome Hiroshi Yamashita as a new contributing engineer. AI Factory is now licensing his Go program "Aya" for use in AI Factory products and for sub-licensing. Aya is a more compact program than the Go++ product by Mick Reiss, so is more flexible for use on smaller platforms. Aya has been developed over many years and recently came 4th from 17 programs in a Computer Go tournament. Go is still considered the world's most difficult board game for a computer to play, so good Go programs are quite rare. Hiroshi Yamashita is also the author of YSS, the current World Computer Shogi Champion, which recently deposed the now famous Bonanza program.
This month has also seen a significant progress in our bio-sym technology, which will be a subject for the next quarterly.