11.0022 Deep Blue, human intelligence and AI

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Mon, 12 May 1997 22:14:56 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 22.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Larry Taylor <ltaylor@stsci.edu> (106)
Subject: Re: 11.0017 Deep Blue and human intelligence

[2] From: Selmer Bringsjord <brings@rpi.edu> (7)
Subject: Deep Blue vs. Kasparov

Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:14:21 -0400
From: Larry Taylor <ltaylor@stsci.edu>
Subject: Re: 11.0017 Deep Blue and human intelligence

> This from the Deep Blue FAQ. Note in particular Kasparov's statement,
> silicon an arrow pointing to the future."
> "Does Deep Blue use artificial intelligence?
> The short answer is "no."

The short response is, "Ridiculous. Of course it's A.I. There
have been few problems more directly identified with A.I. since
the fifties than playing chess. Now that "we" -- ich bin ein
A.I. researcher! -- have WON, don't take it away from us!"

Prediction made about 1957: Unless they are excluded from
competition, a computer will be the world champion in chess
within ten years (it may have been Simon. My books are still
packed, and I can't easily look it up).

A.I. has endured years of disappointment, booms and busts, the
early chess programs being horrible players, but gradually
improving. We have known all along that a fast enough computer
would achieve any given level of chess expertise.

Earlier computer designs that
> tried to mimic human thinking weren't very good at it. No
> formula exists for intuition. So Deep Blue's designers have
> gone "back to the future." Deep Blue relies more on
> computational power and a simpler search and evaluation
> function.

We knew it could work. I wish I could say I knew that that
particular line of investigation would be better than the others,
but many could have guessed.

> The long answer is "no." "Artificial Intelligence" is more
> successful in science fiction than it is here on earth,

... true enough ...

> you don't have to be Isaac Asimov to know why it's hard to
> design a machine to mimic a process we don't understand
> very well to begin with. How we think is a question without
> an answer. Deep Blue could never be a HAL-2000 if it tried.
> Nor would it occur to Deep Blue to "try."
....[more about HAL]

Modeling of human thought is only one goal of Artificial Intelligence.
Engineering problems with complicated domains -- as it is with
chess -- is another important goal, which "we" have just won big.
Let's give the little machine a round of applause.

> Deep Blue's strengths are the strengths of a machine. It has
> more chess information to work with than most computers
> and all but a few chess masters. It never forgets or gets
> distracted. And its orders of magnitude are better at
> processing the information at hand than anything yet
> devised for the purpose.

Repeat after me: Since May 11, 1997, a computer is the best chess
player in the universe. It can't talk, think about anything
other than chess, or tie its shoes, but it is better at what it was
engineered to do than ANY HUMAN ALIVE.

To say this achievement is not artificial intelligence, but it
relies on different principles than humans use, is like saying
that the Wright brothers' airplane did not achieve artificial
flight because it wasn't very much like a bird.

> "There is no psychology at work" in Deep Blue, says IBM
> research scientist Murray Campbell. Nor does Deep Blue
> "learn" its opponent as it plays. Instead, it operates much
> like a turbocharged "expert system," drawing on vast
> resources of stored information (For example, a database
> of opening games played by grandmasters over the last
> 100 years) and then calculating the most appropriate
> response to an opponent's move. Deep Blue is stunningly
> effective at solving chess problems, but it is less
> "intelligent" than the stupidest person. It doesn't think, it
> reacts. And that's where Garry Kasparov sees his
> advantage. Speaking of an earlier IBM chess computer,
> which he defeated in 1989, Kasparov said, "Chess gives us
> a chance to compare brute force with our abilities."
> Deep Blue applies brute force aplenty, but the "intelligence"
> is the old-fashioned kind.

This seems to contradict the assertion above that Deep Blue does
not use artificial intelligence. What the writer means here is
not clear to me, but he or she seems to say that natural intelligence
is involved, which makes no sense.

I think that we should agree that Deep Blue's triumph is a feat
of engineering, and has little to do with A.I.'s pretensions to

Think about the 100 years of
> grandmaster games. Kasparov isn't playing a computer,
> he's playing the ghosts of grandmasters past. That Deep
> Blue can organize such a storehouse of knowledge -- and
> apply it on the fly to the ever-changing complexities on the
> chessboard -- is what makes this particular heap of silicon
> an arrow pointing to the future.
> The worlds of science and enterprise are full of problems
> with so many variables they can't be solved in real time. A

.... hardware notes...

> The way that the PowerPC chips inside Deep Blue work in
> parallel to break down and solve a chess-board problem is
> a pretty good analog for the way many scientists, working
> independently, advance our total understanding of the
> universe, or genetics...

> (Quoted with thanks from <http://www.chess.ibm.com/meet/html/d.3.3a.html>)

> Comments?
> WM

THE PENNANT! (American baseball, c. 1951)

Particularly significant was Kasparov's whining after his loss,
which showed that his ego has been crushed.


Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 18:09:55 +0100 (BST)
From: Selmer Bringsjord <brings@rpi.edu>
Subject: Deep Blue vs. Kasparov

Hi. My paper on Deep Blue vs. Kasparov for the upcoming annual meeting
of the American Association of Artificial Intelligence is available on the
web through that organization, and also directly from my space (postscript):


from here the paper is kasparov.ps


"Chess Isn't Tough Enough: Better Games for Mind-Machine Competition"

Yrs, //Selmer