It was 2007 in Toronto, Canada, when a computer program called Quackle beat former Scrabble world champion David Boys in a set of five matches. The minds behind Quackle included another top Scrabble player, Jason Katz-Brown. Quackle is an open-source Scrabble program and is available for download on the Web.
To get to Boys, the Quackle team had to first qualify in preliminary tournaments. Another Scrabble program called Maven competed with Quackle. The program that registered the best ratio of wins to losses earned the right to challenge Boys. Quackle came out ahead.
By building a vast database of words, computer programmers can create viciously effective synthetic opponents. The computer programs scan the board for potential words, sometimes linking letters in unexpected ways. David Boys reportedly shrugged off the loss, proclaiming that it's still better to be human than a machine [source: The Chronicle of Higher Education].