The Day Deep Blue Changed Chess and AI Forever: Kasparov's Historic Defeat
When a supercomputer made history by defeating the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov
Thursday May 11, 2023,
3 min Read
On May 11, 1997, an event took place that would forever change the world of chess and the field of artificial intelligence. Deep Blue, a supercomputer developed by IBM, defeated the reigning world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, marking the first time a computer had beaten a reigning world champion in a classical game under tournament conditions.
The match took place in New York City and consisted of six games. Deep Blue won the first game, but Kasparov managed to win the second game and draw the next three. However, in the final and deciding game, Deep Blue emerged victorious, shocking the world and making headlines globally.
The victory of Deep Blue over Kasparov represented more than just a triumph in the game of chess. It symbolised a major milestone in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Deep Blue was not just a simple chess computer programmed with predefined moves, but a sophisticated machine capable of analyzing millions of possible moves in a matter of seconds and adapting its strategy accordingly.
The development of Deep Blue began in the 1980s at IBM Research, with a team led by computer scientist Feng-hsiung Hsu. The team's goal was to create a computer that could defeat the best human chess players. To achieve this, they had to develop new algorithms and techniques to handle the immense complexity of the game, as well as design specialised hardware to process the calculations required.
The 1997 match between Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov was not their first encounter. In 1996, Kasparov had defeated an earlier version of Deep Blue in a match held in Philadelphia. However, the IBM team learned from the defeat and made significant improvements to the computer's hardware and software, preparing it for the historic rematch the following year.
The impact of Deep Blue's victory extended far beyond the world of chess. It demonstrated the potential of AI and machine learning in a wide range of applications, from medical diagnosis to financial analysis. Furthermore, it sparked a debate about the future relationship between humans and intelligent machines, a debate that still continues to this day.
Today, the advancements in AI have gone far beyond the capabilities of Deep Blue. With the emergence of even more powerful AI systems like Google's AlphaGo and OpenAI's GPT-3, the potential for artificial intelligence to revolutionise various aspects of human life seems limitless. Nevertheless, the victory of Deep Blue over Garry Kasparov in 1997 will always be remembered as a landmark moment in the history of AI and a testament to the power of human ingenuity in the development of cutting-edge technology.
image credit :Adam Nadel/AP Images