In a milestone for AI, a Google program beat South Korean grand master Lee Sedol at the strategy game Go (left) on March 15. But machines have been mastering board games since the 1970s.
A program called BKG 9.8 became the first to defeat a human in a board game in 1979 when it beat then world champion Luigi Villa in a 7-1 match. Its creator said the victory was due to luck.
Chinook became the first program to win a world championship against humans in 1994 when opponent Marion Tinsley withdrew because of illness. The program retained its title a year later.
IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated grand master Garry Kasparov in a highly publicized 1997 tournament. The Russian won the first game, drew in the next three and forfeited his last after 19 moves.
This appears in the March 28, 2016 issue of TIME.