Kasparov at TED: Don't fear intelligent machines. Work with them

by Albert Silver
6/12/2017 – Garry Kasparov recently released his latest book called Deep Thinking, and was invited to make a presentation at the wonderful online resource TED. The theme was appropriately on the rise of machines, not just in areas such as chess, but how they are quickly encroaching on areas such as medicine and legal work. Instead of a doomsday speech, he reminds us that we should work with them, our creations, and use them to fulfill our dreams. Enjoy the video!

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Full TED talk by Garry Kasparov

(runtime 15 minutes 20 seconds)

Here are a few excerpts:


I played two matches against the IBM supercomputer, Deep Blue. Nobody remembers that I won the first match


In Philadelphia, before losing the rematch the following year in New York. But I guess that's fair. There is no day in history, special calendar entry for all the people who failed to climb Mt. Everest before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made it to the top. And in 1997, I was still the world champion when chess computers finally came of age. I was Mt. Everest, and Deep Blue reached the summit. I should say of course, not that Deep Blue did it, but its human creators — Anantharaman, Campbell, Hoane, Hsu. Hats off to them. As always, machine's triumph was a human triumph, something we tend to forget when humans are surpassed by our own creations.


Machines have calculations. We have understanding. Machines have instructions. We have purpose. Machines have objectivity. We have passion. We should not worry about what our machines can do today. Instead, we should worry about what they still cannot do today, because we will need the help of the new, intelligent machines to turn our grandest dreams into reality. And if we fail, if we fail, it's not because our machines are too intelligent, or not intelligent enough. If we fail, it's because we grew complacent and limited our ambitions. Our humanity is not defined by any skill, like swinging a hammer or even playing chess.

There's one thing only a human can do. That's dream. So let us dream big.

For those who have not yet realize how far machines have come, consider the article this March in the New York Times explaining how legal offices are using AI to do paralegal work, such as search databases of cases and finding the one that matches the one being litigated, preparing memos, summaries, and more. Read the full New York Times article.

Garry Kasparov just released his latest book called Deep Thinking: Where machine intelligence ends and human creativity begins. It can be found at bookstores or online at e-tailers such as Amazon.

Needless to say, you can find several fantastic ChessBase DVDs authored by Kasparov. These include a three-part set on the Najdorf (How to play the Najdorf) as only he can do it (worth it just for his chess understanding), as well as one based on his autobiography (How I became World Champion Vol.1 1973-1985), with early games from his career from talented junior to world championship contender, which he recounts sometimes very emotionally.

Garry Kasparov

Born on April 13th 1963, Garry Kasparov was the 13th World Champion in the history of chess.

The young Kasparov followed the typical route for talented young Soviet players through the famous Botvinnik school and lived until 1990 in the Azerbaijani city of Baku, where he was born. When things became too dangerous for him there because of political unrest, he moved in 1990 to Moscow and took Russian nationality.

From 1.1.1984 until his retirement in 2005 Kasparov was almost uninterruptedly the number one in the world ranking list, and even his rivals would describe him as the player with the most universal understanding of chess of all time. With his dynamic style, Kasparov had an epoch-making influence on the development of tournament chess at the end of the 20th century. The basis of his exceptional position in chess was extraordinary talent combined with hard work, enormous will-power and a boundless memory. He himself once characterised his style as "a combination of Alekhine, Tal and Fischer".

Kasparov won most of the competitions in which he took part. With his series of victories in 1999 he built up a lead of 80 points in the Elo list; the rating of 2851 which, until the advent of Magnus Carlsen, had never been equalled, despite Elo inflation. Kasparov also set the standard as an author of chess books, with the greatest attention being earned by his series on the world chess champions "My Great Predecessors".

Order these very popular Kasparov's DVDs in the ChessBase Shop

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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