And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: May 3rd, 1997, 18 years ago today ... the ultimate test of man versus machine.
For that was the day world chess champion Garry Kasparov faced off in Game One of a six-game rematch against IBM's chess-playing computer, Deep Blue.
Kasparov had defeated Deep Blue handily in 1996. And he seemed off to a strong start in the rematch, with a win in Game One.
He recalled his early confidence in the 2003 film, "Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine": "I will beat the machine, whatever happens. Look at Game One. It's just a machine. Machines are stupid."
But the tables were turned toward the end of Game Two, when Deep Blue made a move that Kasparov didn't expect ... leading him to resign. "It was the loss of the match," Kasparov said. "I couldn't recover."
Still Kasparov soldiered on to Game Six . . . a decisive game six as previewed by a certain CBS News anchor:
"At one game each and three draws going into today's final match, in which Deep Blue has the advantage of making the first move. The future of humanity is on the line. Now, the weather ..."
Dark clouds quickly descended on the beleaguered Kasparov. Admittedly rattled by Deep Blue's performance, Kasparov lost the game -- and the match -- to Deep Blue.
In defeat, he suggested IBM had secretly used human experts to second-guess the computer. IBM denied any such thing.
And so, the results stand to this day: The machine wins, humanity loses.
For more info:
- "Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine" (National Film Board of Canada)