Then Kasparov did something unexpected.

Then Kasparov did something unexpected.

The truth is, Kasparov wasn’t completely surprised by Deep Blue’s victory. Chess grand masters had predicted for years that computers would eventually beat humans, because they under- stood the different ways humans and computers play. Human chess players learn by spending years studying the world’s best opening moves and endgames; they play thousands of games,



slowly amassing a capacious, in-brain library of which strategies triumphed and which flopped. They analyze their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their moods. When they look at the board, that knowledge manifests as intuition-a eureka moment when they suddenly spy the best possible move.

In contrast, a chess-playing computer has no intuition at all. It analyzes the game using brute force; it inspects the pieces currently on the board, then calculates all options. It prunes away moves that lead to losing positions, then takes ~e pr~m­ ising ones and runs the calculations again. After dm~g th.ts a few times-and looking five or seven moves out-lt arrtves at a few powerful plays. The machine’s way of “thinking” is fundamentally unhuman. Humans don’t sit around crunching every possible move, because our brains can’t hold that much information at once. If you go eight moves out in a game of chess, there are more possible games than there are stars in our galaxy. If you total up every game possible? It outnumbers the atoms in the known universe. Ask chess grand masters, “How many moves can you see out?” and they’ll likely deliver the answer attributed to the Cuban grand master Jose Raul

Capablanca: “One, the best one.” The fight between computers and humans in chess was, as

Kasparov knew, ultimately about speed. Once computers could see all games roughly seven moves out, they would wear hum~s down. A person might make a mistake; the computer wouldn t. Brute force wins. As he pondered Deep Blue, Kasparov mused

on these different cognitive approaches. It gave him an audacious idea. What would happen if,

instead of competing against one another, humans and com- puters collaborated? What if they played on teams together- one computer and a human facing off against another human and a computer? That way, he theorized, each might benefit

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