ultrafacts:Chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov, top left,…


Chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov, top left, contemplates his next move against IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer while Chung-Jen Tan, manager of the Deep Blue project looks on during the first game of a six-game rematch between Kasparov and Deep Blue. The computer program made history by becoming the first to beat a world chess champion, Kasparov, at a serious game.

Fifteen years later, one of Big Blue’s designers says the move was the result of a bug in Deep Blue’s software. The revelation was published in a book by statistician and New York Times journalist Nate Silver titled The Signal and the Noise.

For his book, Silver interviewed Murray Campbell, one of the three IBM computer scientists who designed Deep Blue, and Murray told him that the machine was unable to select a move and simply picked one at random.

“Kasparov had concluded that the counterintuitive play must be a sign of superior intelligence,” Campbell told Silver. “He had never considered that it was simply a bug.”

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