Harry Kasparov reflects on his next move during the match against Deep Blue at the IBM Chess Challenge in New York. Photo: Bernie Nunez / Allsport

  • May 11, 1997 was a turning point in the relationship between man and machine, when the supercomputer Deep Blue defeated chess king Harry Kasparov.
  • Over the last ten years, the scope of AI has unfolded, and questions remain about how significant a threat it poses to humans.
  • Kasparov does not seem to think so, saying that people have a “monopoly on evil.”

With his hand firmly on his cheek and his eyes fixed on the table, Harry Kasparov cast one last dark glance at the chessboard before breaking out of the room: the chess king had just been beaten by a computer.

May 11, 1997 was a turning point in the human-machine relationship when the Deep Blue Artificial Intelligence (AI) supercomputer finally achieved what the developers had promised for decades.

It was an “incredible” moment, artificial intelligence expert Philip Rolle told AFP, even if the sustained technological impact was not so great.

“Deep Blue’s victory has made people realize that cars can be as powerful as people, even in their territory,” he said.

The developers of IBM, the American company that produced Deep Blue, were delighted with the victory, but quickly shifted to a wider meaning.

“It’s not about man versus machine. It’s really about how we humans use technology to solve complex problems,” Deep Blue chief Chung-Zhen Tang said after the match, listing the potential benefits of financial analysis and weather forecasting. I.

Even Chang could hardly understand how central artificial intelligence has become, which finds application in almost every sphere of human existence.

“AI has exploded in the last 10 years or so,” UCLA computer science professor Richard Korf told AFP.

“Now we are doing what was previously impossible.”

“One person broke”

After the defeat of Kasparov, who is still considered the greatest chess player of all time, was furious.

He hinted that it was an unfair practice, denied that he had really lost, and concluded that nothing had been proven about the power of computers.

He explained that the match could be seen as “one man, the best player in the world, (who) broke under pressure”.

He argued that the computer can be defeated because it has too many weaknesses.

Nowadays, the best computers will always beat even the strongest chess players.

Machines based on artificial intelligence have mastered every game and now have much bigger worlds to conquer.

Corfu cites notable advances in facial recognition that have helped make cars a reality.

Jan Lekun, head of artificial intelligence research at Meta / Facebook, told AFP that there had been “absolutely incredible progress” in recent years.

Lecun, one of the founding fathers of modern artificial intelligence, attributes to the achievements of modern computers the ability to “translate any language into any language in a set of 200 languages” or “have a single neural network that understands 100 languages.”

This is very far from 1997, when Facebook did not even exist.

“No danger” machines

Experts agree that Kasparov’s match was important as a symbol, but left little technical legacy.

“There was nothing revolutionary about Deep Blue’s design,” Corfe said, describing it as an evolution of techniques that have existed since the 1950s.

“It was also part of special equipment designed just for playing chess.”

Facebook, Google and other technology firms have pushed AI in all sorts of other directions.

They fueled increasingly powerful AI machines with an incredible amount of data from their users, serving relentlessly targeted content and advertising and creating trillions of companies in the process.

Artificial intelligence technology is now helping to decide anything from room temperature to the price of car insurance.

Devices from vacuum cleaners to doorbells come with sensor kits that provide artificial intelligence systems with data for a better target consumer.

While critics complain about the loss of privacy, enthusiasts believe that AI products simply make everyone’s life easier.

Despite his painful history with machines, Kasparov is largely unconcerned by the increasingly dominant position of AI.

“There’s just no evidence that cars are threatening us,” he told AFP last year.

“The real danger comes not from killer robots, but from humans, because humans still have a monopoly on evil.”

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