Deep Thinking Synopsis
In May 1997, the world watched as Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player in the world, was defeated for the first time by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. It was a watershed moment in the history of technology: machine intelligence had arrived at the point where it could best human intellect. It wasn't a coincidence that Kasparov became the symbol of man's fight against the machines. Chess has long been the fulcrum in development of machine intelligence; the hoax automaton 'The Turk' in the 18th century and Alan Turing's first chess program in 1952 were two early examples of the quest for machines to think like humans -- a talent we measured by their ability to beat their creators at chess. As the pre-eminent chessmaster of the 80s and 90s, it was Kasparov's blessing and his curse to play against each generation's strongest computer champions, contributing to their development and advancing the field. Like all passionate competitors, Kasparov has taken his defeat and learned from it. He has devoted much energy to devising ways in which humans can partner with machines in order to produce results better than either can achieve alone. During the twenty years since playing Deep Blue, he's played both with and against machines, learning a great deal about our vital relationship with our most remarkable creations. Ultimately, he's become convinced that by embracing the competition between human and machine intelligence, we can spend less time worrying about being replaced and more thinking of new challenges to conquer. In this breakthrough book, Kasparov tells his side of the story of Deep Blue for the first time -- what it was like to strategize against an implacable, untiring opponent -- the mistakes he made and the reasons the odds were against him. But more than that, he tells his story of AI more generally, and how he's evolved to embrace it, taking part in an urgent debate with philosophers worried about human values, programmers creating self-learning neural networks, and engineers of cutting edge robotics.
Deep Thinking Press Reviews
An entertainingly pugnacious mix of memoir and more general arguments about how we should learn to live with our thinking machines * DAILY TELEGRAPH, Science Books of the Year * This book is prompted by the accident of history that meant Garry Kasparov was the finest chess player in the world at the point at which computers exceeded the ability of humans. It is about chess and programming - but also about the wider implications of artificial intelligence * THE TIMES, Science Books of the Year * At a time when fears about computer intelligence have become existential , Kasparov has revisited the experience in a timely, thoughtful memoir. Part page-turning thriller, part meditation on the idea of thinking machines, Deep Thinking is both gripping and measured * Book of the Week, THE WEEK * A book dripping with evangelical zeal * Sunday Business Post * A highly human exploration of artificial intelligence, its exciting possibilities and inherent limits. -- MAX LEVCHIN, cofounder of PayPal and CEO of Affirm From the man at the epi-center of one of the ten defining moments of the 20th century, a fascinating and insightful overview of how computers came to surpass humans at chess, and what it means for mankind. Deeply researched and clearly exposited, it is also a revealing portrait of what it is like to be a real-life John Henry pitted against the steam hammer. -- KEN ROGOFF, author of 'This Time is Different' The great Garry Kasparov takes on the key economic issue of our time: how we can thrive as humans in a world of thinking machines. This important and optimistic book explains what we as humans are uniquely qualified to do. Instead or wringing our hands about robots, we should all read this book and embrace the future. -- WALTER ISAACSON, author of 'The Innovators' DEEP THINKING is an absorbing, often brilliant book which no chess-lover should miss -- Edward Winter * CHESSHISTORY.COM * Intelligent, absorbing...thoughtful reading for anyone interested in human and machine cognition and a must for chess fans * KIRKUS (starred review) * Garry Kasparov's perspectives on artificial intelligence are borne of personal experience - and despite that, are optimistic, wise and compelling. It's one thing for the giants of Silicon Valley to tell us our future is bright; it is another thing to hear it from the man who squared off with the world's most powerful computer, with the whole world watching, and his very identity at stake. -- CHARLES DUHIGG, author of 'Smarter Faster Better' As Kasparov recounts in arresting detail what it felt like to compete cognitively with a machine, he extrapolates his experience into an optimistic perspective on how computerized intelligence can enhance rather than overwhelm human brainpower, and instead of eliminating jobs and opportunities, can actually generate them. * BOOKLIST * An absorbing, page-turning thriller that weaves a personal account of intellectual combat with the wider picture of what it's like to come up against a powerful corporation that is determined to do whatever it takes to crush opposition. Not just a tale of human vs machine, this is also a story about one man vs The Man. * OBSERVER * The raw emotion of that encounter in New York bursts out of the pages of Kasparov's gripping story. What is striking, and reassuring, is that far from raging against the machine, Kasparov marvels at the capabilities of computers and is excited by the possibilities for future collaboration.This reads at times like a fast-paced psychological thriller. Chess fans will be engrossed by Kasparov's tale but the book deserves a far broader readership -- John Thornhill * FINANCIAL TIMES * Fascinating . . . an impressively researched history of AI and the field's ongoing obsession with chess . . . with enough detail to satisfy chess enthusiasts, while providing a thrilling narrative for the casual reader. Deep Thinking delivers a rare balance of analysis and narrative, weaving commentary about technological progress with an inside look at one of the most important chess matches ever played -- DEMIS HASSABIS * NATURE * A gripping account of an intellectual battle like no other.. For fans, it will be like reading Nelson's postmatch analysis of Trafalgar . . . Deep Thinking is both a lesson in not panicking prematurely and a warning about knowing who your real opponent is * DAILY TELEGRAPH * Excellent... No scientist or tech entrepreneur could make the positive case for the digital revolution with the passionate conviction that Kasparov brings. Not many tragic heroes live to tell the tale. This one did * THE TIMES *