The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but a pair of amateur American chess players using three computers at the same time. Their skill at manipulating and "coaching" their computers to look very deeply into positions effectively counteracted the superior chess understanding of their grandmaster opponents and the greater computational power of other participants. Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Humans + Computers better than each individually
This is a fascinating read. Kasparov, a former world chess champion, able to write much of the review in the first person. I especially liked this bit near the end of the piece, where there was a tournament with humans using computers to play chess.