Chalk one up for humans. In October, Garri Kasparov, the world's premier chess master, beat Deep Thought, the world's premier chess-playing computer program.
In spite of this defeat, the silicon competitor boasts several prestigious victories over human grand masters. Jim Adams of the Association for Computing Machinery predicts that a computer will be the world champion within four years. Look out, Kasparov.
Deep Thought was developed by a team of five Carnegie-Mellon University graduate students. In November, Deep Thought headed for the 20th Annual North American Computer Chess Championship in Reno, Nevada, where it tied for first place with Hitech, another Carnegie-Mellon chess-playing computer.
—RICHARD C. LEINECKER