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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There were lots of attractions at the recent Space And Missile Defense Symposium and lots of things to learn.

Maybe the most fun of all, playing a kids game, Connect Four.

It may be simple, as News 19’s Steve Johnson remarked to Dr. William Marx, the Vice President and Chief Technology office at Intuitive Research and Technology.

“It is, well, it’s more difficult than tic-tac-toe, but it’s easy enough that people can understand it when we wrap artificial intelligence around it,” Marx explained.

After playing the classic kids game, Steve and Marx moved to a computer version pitting two players together – both in the world of artificial intelligence.

“This allows us to present artificial intelligence to people in a way they can hopefully understand, showing off algorithms, and search methods, pruning in trees, and all this kind of stuff difficult for people to grasp,” Marx stated. “For instance, we’re capturing every move made, the total number of moves evaluated. See how that number is going up? The artificial intelligence in the cloud is calculating all those possible moves for what’s going on”

It’s what the artificial intelligence in the so-called cloud can do that’s impressive: A massive network of computers working together to look for patterns, to calculate future moves, and to be predictive.

“It allows us to do maybe quicker weather forecasting at your fingertips,” Marx said.

You could also look for patterns that might indicate threats to cybersecurity or more complicated situations for space and missile defense.

And that’s the bottom line of course for Intuitive playing a game at the SMD Symposium. The company, by the way, already has clients using artificial intelligence to do multiple tasks.