Monday, September 4, 2017

[Book] Deep Thinking : Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov is a multifaceted personality. He is an author of several critically-acclaimed books, much sought-after orator, political opponent to none other than the mighty Vlad Putin... And, did I mention that he is a former World Chess Champion and widely regarded as one of the greatest chess players of all time?

I have been a die-hard Kasparov fan (except when he was playing against the Indian chess prodigy V. Anand), and yet I was reluctant to pick up this book, thinking it to be some half-baked pseudo-science. 

Boy, was I so happy to be proved thoroughly wrong!

"Deep Thinking" has three main threads running in parallel throughout the book. 
At the core of it, Kasparov writes about his chess 'wars' with Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer. 
On top of this, he elaborates the history of chess-playing machines: Deep Junior, Hydra, Fritz, et al. 
Encompassing this, he muses about machine learning, human-machine interfaces and artificial intelligence in general. 

You need not be a chess pro or an AI expert to enjoy this book. Kasparov has an engaging writing style, and his razor-sharp, no-holds-barred approach makes for a delightful read!

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