Former World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov talks about where Machine Intelligence ends and Human Creativity begins – followed by a conversation with legendary former MIT Media Lab Professor Mike Hawley.
In May 1997 the greatest chess player in the world was defeated for the first time – by an IBM supercomputer named Deep Blue. As George Steiner remarked: ‘There may come a day when historians realise that the most important event in the twentieth century was not the war or the financial crash, but the evening when Kasparov lost a game against a little metal box.’
The Kasparov–Deep Blue contest remains the single most totemic event in the history of AI, and a watershed moment in the history of technology. For the first time machine intelligence outperformed human intellect, and chess – as always – was the border crossing, a game in which there are more possible positions than there are atoms in the universe. One version of what happened on that day in 1997 is that Kasparov made no mistakes, and equally that Deep Blue made no calculations: that the computer thought its way to victory. Even today we know as little about the conceptualizations generated by a computer as about the mental resources mobilised by a Grand Master to defeat it.
You are invited to hear Garry Kasparov tell his side of this epoch-making story – for the first time, twenty years on: what it was like to play against an implacable and tireless opponent, why the odds were so stacked, what were the strategies IBM used to unnerve him. But this is above all a story about machine intelligence, and how Kasparov has come to embrace it as a force for good and an ally of human creativity.