Deep Blue Day 10 Year Anniversary Saturday, May 12, 2007

Every year on May 12 I celebrate a milestone in AI: Deep Blue's defeat of Garry Kasparov in 1997. Pictured is a photo of last year's celebration, during which Daniel Saunders and I dressed in blue and watched the documentary Game Over. We were rooting for the AI.

And this year it's the 10 year anniversary, so I'm going to live it up, party, and wear blue!

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about: Deep Blue is a chess-playing computer and computer program created by IBM. It's name is a combination of "Big Blue," the nickname for IBM, and "Deep Thought," it's predecessor, named after the fictional computer in the Hitchhiker's guide books. It defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov. As you can see in the film Game Over, Kasparov was a sore loser, accusing the other team of cheating!

There are those who say that Deep Blue is not AI. People who say this tend to have a mystical view of intelligence. If they can understand how a program works, then it just can't be real intelligence. It's "just planning" or "just search." This is called the "AI Effect."In response to people like this AI researchers have joked that AI stands for "Almost Implemented."

But the facts are that Deep Blue works by using algorithms and principles created by AI researchers, for AI reasons. Many of these algorithms were invented long ago-- only in 1997 were the computers fast enough to make them effective enough to beat the world champion. To me, this is enough to classify Deep Blue firmly as an AI program.


Neal said…
Turing even suggested that chess might be a better test than the imitation game toward the end of Computing Machinery and Intelligence.

So, in effect, Deep Blue passed the Turing Test. ;)

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