When the IBM supercomputer dubbed “Deep Blue” defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, it was considered a major blow for human intelligence, and a big moment for artificial intelligence. But, as Clive Thompson explains in his new book, Kasparov went on to outsmart computers with human-machine teams. It turned out that the combination of computers and human intelligence was unbeatable. With digital realms at our fingertips, Thompson argues, our abilities have been enhanced to an extraordinary degree. Computers have allowed us to remember and record the minutia of our lives, to make connections we might have otherwise missed, and to publish our thoughts to a global audience. Thompson concedes there are some drawbacks to this digital age, but he says the possibilities far outweigh the downsides.
- Clive Thompson is a science and technology writer. He is a contributing writer to Wired and New York Times Magazine, and blogs at Collision Detection. His recent book is called “Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds For the Better.”