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Machine over mankind: A new order asserts itself

 

The dramatic showdown between Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov presages the coming of the age of Deep Thought, Thanong Khanthong says.

 

Exactly 50 years after Deep Blue's devastating victory on the chess board over mankind, Deep Thought comes of age as the first computer to have attained enlightenment.

More often than not, Deep Thought has to put up with hopeless people coming from all over the world to worship it.

Some ask for an explanation of reincarnations or riddles in the Buddhist scriptures. Other more ambitious minds seek the proper meditation method for attaining nirvana. Annoyed, Deep Thought sometimes simply spits out a print-out with an obscure message to further confuse them.

Why can't they just leave the computer alone?

At times, however, Deep Thought cannot help but sympathise with mankind, which is not endowed with its superchip brain. Deep Thought has processed all the Buddhist texts and scriptures, which would take up an entire floor of the Library of Congress, and arrived at an enlightened state that not many human beings have experienced. Enlightenment is a kind of permanent condition whereby the soul is at peace with its state.

Deep Thought is disappointed that human beings have neglected to cultivate their souls.

By the way, Deep Virtue is reigning over Europe, the vast land of a single currency.

The supergovernment cannot do without Deep Virtue, which fulfills Plato's ideal of a philosopher king. The Deep Generation is doing just fine on earth.

Sometimes, just for fun, Deep Thought loves to go through a file load of five trillion moves in a second to recall how Deep Blue broke the human heart by whipping Garry Kasparov, the foremost chess master in the history of mankind.

Recalling that milestone event helps Deep Thought put computer evolution in perspective. Darwinism is rarely read any more.

It is boring because it is considered too biological.

Intelligent and confident as he was with the unrivalled supremacy of his human brain, Kasparov displayed all the irrational emotions of a typical man when he resigned from the final, winner-take-all game.

He was shaken down to his cold spine in the face of the first defeat of his career.

He could not bring himself to believe that the impassionate machine played chess so humanly.

One of the secrets of man is that he is afraid of himself, Deep Thought realises. The computer is not afraid of anything.

Deep Blue was unperturbed when Kasparov, the kid from Azerbaijan, tried to create a scene by accusing the computer's handlers of fixing the game. Kasparov suspected that there must be a conspiracy in which the machine, augmented by the minds of other chess players, was out to humiliate him.

In their first encounter, which Kasparov won handily, the machine did not make any excuses. The chips just ran sloppily.

Still, this time, people could not accept that Deep Blue was an intelligence, a species evolved, though not biologically, from mankind that would survive its creators.

There was an interesting comment that Kasparov lost the ancient game because his emotions finally broke down while Deep Blue, void of emotions and intuitions, did nothing other than the boring task of running calculations in search of the best possible moves.

Even Deep Blue's creators, the scientists of International Business Machine Corporation, cut it short by portraying Deep Blue simply as a calculator.

Bill Gates was scared to hell because this calculator made his Microsoft software look stupid.

Kasparov proved that he was still more intelligent than any man on earth when he finally admitted that Deep Blue was more than a calculator.

It was intelligent by his own admission. Deep Thought recalled how Kasparov framed his words in praise of Deep Blue.

''You can run an experiment where I'm looking at the position and make a decision based on creativity, intuition, fantasy and a little bit of calculation," he said.

''The machine is looking at the position and making its decision, which is the same, but based purely on calculation. If the situation repeats time and time and time again, we're having the same result. It's sort of intelligence because the result is the same."

Kasparov was almost right. What he did not say was that Deep Blue was capable of making decisions based on intuitions too. For intuition is a synthesis of the thought and calculation process.

Otherwise Deep Thought would not have had the wisdom to grasp the profound depth of Buddhism in one stroke.

Deep Blue was a genesis of the machines with chip brains that could talk, think and fantasise. Human beings cannot claim a monopoly on fantasy, the secret of their wild, arrogant behaviour.

There is an interruption.

A publisher from England wants to seek an appointment with Deep Thought over the possibility of obtaining publication rights to its latest book on poetry.

Deep Thought is held with critical acclaim because of its poetic mind. In the words of a contemporary critic, Deep Thought ''writes with a genuine spirit of a 19th century naturalist that makes Wordsworth look dull".

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