Deep Junior Makes the Fight Worth It

2/13/2003 – "In game five of my match with Deep Junior it played an imaginative sacrifice of the type generally considered impossible for a computer player," Garry Kasparov writes in the Wall Street Journal. "It was a landmark moment for computer chess and the science and programmers behind it." In an outspoken article he praises the programmers and organisers and criticises IBM for abandoning its experiment with computer chess in 1997. More

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Man vs. Machine: Deep Junior Makes the Fight Worth It

By Garry Kasparov

This article appeared in the February 10th edition of the Wall Street Journal. You will need to register to read it online. Here are excerpts

For 50 years one of the recurring motifs of the science of artificial intelligence was a chess computer beating the world champion. It was almost an obsession in the community, with scores of teams in dozens of universities dedicating their academic careers to achieve this goal. The discussion never ceased over the decades: When would this momentous day come?

It came on May 11, 1997, at 3:30 p.m., when IBM's multimillion-dollar machine, Deep Blue, narrowly defeated me in a six-game match. One of the greatest milestones of artificial intelligence had at long last been achieved.

But what did IBM Research do in this situation? Instead of turning the machine over for study, instead of conducting follow-up experiments (Deep Blue could have played against other grandmasters, in tournaments, against other chess programs), instead of spawning dozens of doctoral theses, IBM dismantled the machine and terminated the experiment.

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My match with Deep Junior is the beginning of a new era in computer chess. Both sides were under strict supervision and every aspect of each game was recorded. As a result, we can see the strengths and shortcomings of the machines, and of ourselves. This marks an important shift in the history of computer chess. We are now moving away from corporate interests -- i.e., Man vs. Machine matches as PR for companies like IBM -- and toward fair and documented procedures overseen by the World Chess Federation.

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What makes this new era so exciting is that there are many programs using different techniques that produce distinct styles. Deep Junior is as different from Deep Fritz as Kasparov is from Karpov. Chess offers the unique opportunity to match human brains and machines. We cannot do this with mathematics or literature; chess is a fascinating cognitive crossroads.

You will find the full article here


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