On January 21, the supercomputer Deep Blue 2 failed to defeat a 5-year-old child at the game “Purrplexed.” Deep Blue 2 was created by International Business Machines (IBM). IBM’s highly publicized product is a supercomputer that can learn how to play any game that is presented to it and claimed to be able to win without fail.
Deep Blue 2 had successfully been able to defeat world renowned champions at several hundred games during the past year, including “Magic the Gathering,” “Settlers of Catan” and “League of Legends.”
When presented with “Purrplexed,” a game created by students of the University of Wisconsin–Stout, it seemed that Deep Blue 2 would have no trouble defeating anyone it played against. However, 5-year-old Menomonie resident Annie Burns had no trouble winning against the supercomputer. “I don’t see what the big deal is,” said Annie. “My big brother always beats me at ‘Purrplexed.’ I bet he can beat the computer too!” Annie’s brother Benjamin was unable to defeat Deep Blue 2.
“Purrplexed” was created by a group of students taking the Board Game Production and Process course. Professor Jay Little was not surprised by Deep Blue 2’s inability to defeat Annie. “‘Purrplexed’ combines the cuteness of cats with a tile placement mechanic. The game is simple enough for a kid to learn, but has a deep complexity that can stump the smartest of individuals,” said Little.
IBM has returned to the drawing board in order to figure out why Deep Blue 2 could not beat Annie. They do not expect to find definitive answers anytime soon.