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AI In The Past And The Future

20 years ago, IBM’s computer, Deep Blue, defeated at the time the undisputed World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov (who is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time). On May 11, 1997, the overall score between Kasparov and Deep Blue was equal when game six was played. The winner of the game would be the winner of the tournament. Deep Blue won the game through a daring move that wrecked Kasparov’s defense and forced him to resign in less than 20 moves.

This was a giant leap in artificial intelligence (AI), the technology that tries to mimic and beat the human intelligence. In spite of this big progress in beating humans in the game of chess, which was considered by many as a symbol of intelligence for a long time, the belief that AI was close to human intelligence in general was rather weak. The game between Deep Blue and the world champion was still fairly even, and as a matter of fact, Kasparov defeated Deep Blue a year before in 1996.

The next challenge for AI was to take on the ancient Chinese game of go. In a 1997 New York Times article, Dr. Piet Hut, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, stated that the computer’s ability in defeating humans in go wasn’t very close.

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