- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (May 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 161039786X
- ISBN-13: 978-1610397865
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 48 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins 1st Edition
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"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, bestselling author of The Innovators
"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, bestselling author of Smarter Faster Better
"From the man at the epi-center of one 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 research and clearly exposited, it is also a revealing portrait of what it is like to a real-life John Henry pitted against the steam hammer."―Ken Rogoff, bestselling author of This Time is Different
"A highly human exploration of artificial intelligence, its exciting possibilities and inherent limits."
―Max Levchin, cofounder of PayPal, CEO of Affirm, and Silicon Valley angel investor
"Intelligent, absorbing...Thoughtful reading for anyone interested in human and machine cognition and a must for chess fans."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"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 only eliminating jobs and opportunities, can actually generate them."
"Kasparov includes 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
"The raw emotion of [the loss to Deep Blue] bursts out of the pages of Kasparov's gripping story, which he fully recounts for the first time in Deep Thinking... 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...reads at times like a fast-paced psychological thriller."―John Thornhill, Financial Times
"Deep Thinking is like Kasparov himself: fascinating, razor-sharp, and provocative. In it he finally tells us, twenty years later, what he's learned from participating in the most famous human vs. machine competition since John Henry. The answer is a huge amount, which is also what you'll learn from reading Deep Thinking."―Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at MIT and coauthor of The Second Machine Age
"Garry Kasparov has been a true pioneer in both the theory and practice of human-machine intelligence. Deep Thinking encompasses his wisdom in these areas in a highly entertaining and informative manner. I couldn't put it down, and don't think you will be able to either."―Tyler Cowen, author of The Great Stagnation
About the Author
Garry Kasparov is a business speaker, global human rights activist, author, and former world chess champion. His keynote lectures and seminars on strategic thinking, achieving peak performance, and tech innovation have been acclaimed in dozens of countries. A frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, he is the author of two books, How Life Imitates Chess and Winter is Coming, each of which has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, working in cooperation with the Future of Humanity Institute. He lives in New York.
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Like Kasparov (peak rating of 2851 in 1999) I (peak rating of 2080 in 1974) have been absolutely fascinated with chess playing programs going back to the eighties when the best engine played at about the USCF 1200 level. I bought one of the first Chessmaster programs and subsequently several others as well. I also bought the Fritz engines when they came out and others including I believe the first Zarkov program. What Kasparov shows is that it is a combination of brute force from the chess engines and the creative and process-finding ability of the human that makes for the strongest player. In human tournaments of course you can’t get help from your cell phone (and hopefully not from a device in your back molar!), but in preparation for a tournament and especially for a match a strong chess engine can be invaluable. Kasparov makes it clear that the proliferation of younger and younger and stronger and stronger grandmasters came about because of the maturing strength of the chess engines which allowed players to study at a level and with an intensity previously impossible.
Kasparov goes on to generalize this idea for other forms of human endeavor. Artificial Intelligence is in the final analysis a tool to augment human creativity and foster human achievement. (This is not to say it won’t be used in detrimental ways.) Fifty-five years ago my friend Bill Maillard, who is a mathematician and a master chess player, put it this way: machine intelligence will eventually exceed human intelligence but it will be the humans that make the decisions.
For Kasparov (quoting John McCarthy who coined the term “artificial intelligence” in 1956) chess became “the Drosophila of AI,” the fruit fly that allows scientific experiments. Put ironically in another way, Kasparov (with tongue in cheek) titled an earlier book of his “How Life Imitates Chess.” What is most interesting about Garry Kasparov is just how intelligent, learned and articulate he is compared to the vast number of chess players. Anybody who has put in the time and energy it takes to become a grandmaster really doesn’t have time to be well read—usually. One only has to recall the very limited abilities of Bobby Fischer away from the chess board. –Speaking of whom, Kasparov has this little story about Fischer on page 92: When “an eager fan pressed him after a difficult win” with “Nice game, Bobby!” Fischer retorted, “How would you know.”
Another interesting thing about Kasparov is how he can be both modest and very confident at the same time. Part of what makes this book so interesting is the way Kasparov reveals himself. He faults himself for the infamous resignation in game two of the second Deep Blue match and even reveals that he didn’t realize the position was drawn until the next day when told so by his seconds. He explains why he lost the match while making plausible excuses based on what he thought was unfair advantages on the other side. This part of the book, which focuses intently on those matches, reveals a very human and likable person, perhaps akin to a character in a popular novel, a person with great strengths and some weaknesses. For example, on page 105 Kasparov writes, “I can say without any false modesty that I was the best-prepared player in the history of chess.”
For many readers the most interesting parts of the book will deal with Kaparov’s understanding of AI (and IA, “intelligence amplification”) and how the technology has developed and where K thinks it’s going. He is less afraid of the surveillance than many people and for the most part sees that the increased knowledge we have of others and ourselves through technology will do more good than harm. He notes that “Our lives are being converted into data” but “The greatest security problem we have will always be human nature.” (p. 118) He adds on the next page, “Privacy is dying, so transparency must increase.” His knowledge is impressive, and he and his collaborator Mig Greengard write so clearly and engagingly that the book is a pleasure to read.
I should add that the book is beautifully designed and meticulously edited. I didn’t notice a single typo and nary a muddled sentence.
One other thing: even very experienced chess players will probably learn something about the game of chess they didn’t know or something about the history of chess they missed. I know I did.
“Romanticizing the loss of jobs to technology is little better than complaining that antibiotics put too many grave diggers out of work.” (p. 42) This is a statement that bears some scrutiny, and indeed might be the subject of a future Kasparov book.
In 1989 Kasparov played the Deep Thought chess engine. After Kasparov won the tabloid New York Post wrote, “Red Chess King Quick Fries Deep Thought’s Chips.” (p. 111)
“Mistakes almost never walk alone.” (p. 239)
“Intelligence is whatever machines haven’t done yet” (quoting Larry Tesler). (p. 251)
“There’s a business saying that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” (p. 252)
--Dennis Littrell, author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”
The author starts with two goals, to discuss the growth of AI and use of computers in today's society and what it should mean for people given his experience in a job which was directly impacted by it as well as to give an account of the matches he endured against deep blue. The author starts by discussing early AI, the coverage is definitely not comprehensive but it gives the reader a good sense of how computation evolved and early ideas on AI and how to program it. The author discusses early pioneers in computer science and how some viewed chess as an admirable AI project given its complexity. Kasparov gives you a sense of the early computer days and the ideas used to program chess. In particular the easiest and easiest idea was to define an objective function for the computer to maximize in its search that valued chess pieces accurately. The author also discusses how databases were then added so that computers could improve efficiency by looking up positions from these databases. The author spends time on people and pattern recognition and how the mind works. The author's views on the technical subjects are well informed but not the focus. The author then gets into the detailing of his games against deep blue and the developers at IBM. He discusses both matches in great depth and discusses the commentary. It is interesting but probably more interesting to those who followed closely the matches and recall the atmosphere at the time. The author discusses how he focused on avoiding tactical positions where a computer would always be more effective and instead focus on strategic goals which were far harder for a computer to be able to capture in an objective function. One gets a better sense of high level chess and how a world champion thinks. The match against Deep Blue where Kasparov lost is the biggest focus and he discusses various moves and his strategy as well as his thinking on positions which were supposed turning points. Again if one had followed the match I suspect this resonates more but it is entertaining for those who did not. The author then discusses how chess is learned today and the broad use of computers in learning and strategy development. It discusses how computers can aid our development but can also be used as too much of a crutch.
All in all Deep Thinking was an entertaining read. It is definitely more for the chess aficionado than those interested in AI. I also think reading the book gets the reader more interested in chess so that also might be a good reason to read it. The techno optimism part of the book is well reasoned but definitely there is far better material out there on how to think about technology and its impact on the future than a book on how a professional chess player was impacted by it but it is a valuable perspective nonetheless. Entertaining if one has the time.
What not to expect: in-depth guidance on how, exactly, we are to collaborate with machines (beyond chess examples and concepts from there); how the machine intelligence and human creativity can be more broadly harnessed for the good of everyone.
Strongly recommended for anyone who is in the field of Artificial Intelligence (bulk of the reason why I bought it). Have fun reading it!