use with Chapter 29
Solid State Electronics
A Digital Shakespeare
Posted August 3, 1998
May 1997, an IBM computer named Deep Blue made history. It
was the first time that a machine beat the best chess player
in the world, Gary Kasparov. After the match, Kasparov commented
that he "sensed a new kind of intelligence" in Deep Blue.
have probably seen science fiction movies with computers and
robots. Often they seem more intelligent than humans. However
there still is a long way to go before anyone builds a C-3PO
from Star Wars or the HAL-9000 seen in 2001: A Space
that seem to think are nothing new. Since the 1960s, there
have been programs called bots that appear to think. Many
bots are available on the World Wide Web and give advice on
everything from relationships to corporate marketing.
of Deep Blue have suggested that the computer really wasn't
thinking. Instead it used its ultra-fast processor to examine
all the possible chess moves on the board, and then chose
the best one. This is not creative thought. It is a routine
mathematical procedure, not much different from what goes
on in your basic calculator.
computing power increases (currently, it doubles every year),
bigger and better computers may be taught to "think." Some
scientists even suggest that in the future individuals may
be able to achieve immortality by copying their own memory
and personality "files" into a computer.
to Selmer Bringsjord, an associate professor at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, computers must learn to be creative
before they show true artificial intelligence. Is this possible?
Bringsjord thinks so. He and David Ferrucci have developed
a program named Brutus.1 that can write stories. They used
computer language to explain the concept of betrayal to Brutus.1.
He then used this to write a short story entitled "Betrayal."
The story is very simple, but it is a first step.
some day in the future, you will find Brutus.1's stories on
the best-seller list.
Go to BotSpot on the World Wide Web www.botspot.com.
Chat with Eliza and Shallow Red to find out information on
bots. Which gave you the most information? What kinds of things
can bots do?
Bringsjord, Selmer. "Chess Is too Easy." MIT's Technology
Review, Mar/Apr 1998, pp. 23-28.
Les. "The New Religion of Computer Consciousness." Alberta
Report/Western Report, Vol. 25, Issue 19, April 27, 1998,