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Na verdade, o que vai abaixo é um puta raciocínio acerca da relação/conflito entre homens e máquinas. O pano de fundo é o xadrez, e o autor dos raciocínios ninguém menos que Garry Kasparov, que disputou várias partidas contra supercomputadores, perdendo para o Deep Blue em 97.

Kasparov notes that computers play chess not by simulating human reasoning, but instead by comparing all possible moves and their consequences — the resulting board positions, subsequently available countermoves, possible counter-countermoves, etc. — until time runs out and a decision is necessary. And time will always run out; there are 10^40 possible legal board positions and 10^120 possible games, so even today’s fastest computers can’t be exhaustive. But they can be thorough, precise, and consistent. They evaluate lots of options, compare them rigorously, and never ever overlook or forget anything that they’ve been programmed to take into account.

These attributes, when coupled with enough computational muscle, make chess computers unbeatable by people. So much for the intangible yet profound value of human creativity, intuition, and spark, right? Doesn’t the example of chess illustrate that these things, lovely though they may be, are rendered insignificant by fast chips and cold logic?

Bem, a resposta é não. Como diz o autor do artigo, “Thankfully, no.”.

Kasparov writes that in competitions allowing any combination of people and computers, “The teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. The chess machine Hydra , which is a chess-specific supercomputer like Deep Blue, was no match for a strong human player using a relatively weak laptop. Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.”

This is incredibly good news, isn’t it? It suggests when we talk about the inimitable spark of human creativity and intuition we’re not just patting ourselves on the back, even in rational domains like chess. In this arena, a thoughtful human expert and a well-designed technology has proved to be a powerful combination. Kasparov says it well: when playing with the assistance of computers, “we [people] could concentrate on strategic planning instead of spending so much time on calculations. Human creativity was even more paramount under these conditions.” (yeah!)

Do caralho, hein?!

My favorite aspect of these ‘freestyle’ competitions was the specific type of human creativity that led to victory. Instead of pure chess genius, it was something much closer to business process design brilliance. The overall winner was a team that contained neither the best human players nor the biggest and fastest computers. Instead, it consisted of “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.”

Kasparov was surprised at this outcome and I have to confess that I was as well, despite my deep conviction that a well-designed process is a potent weapon. I didn’t think that smart process design — in this case, a process for determining the “best” chess move — could overcome both cognitive and computational deficits. But it did, even in this domain where brains and calculations would appear to be the only things that matter. As Kasparov writes of this amazing result, “Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.” I think that’s my new motto.

You don’t have to have the pattern-recognition capabilities of a grandmaster to see that a dominant approach to achieving good results is becoming visible. This approach consists of teamwork among humans and computers, with each playing to its comparative strength. The good news for this team is that each partner is strong precisely where the other is weak, a happy situation known as Moravec’s paradox .

It’s fiendishly hard to give computers intuition, or to make people consistent and error-free. Luckily, we don’t have do. Environments as different as chess and medicine are showing us that the right approach is to let people exercise their intuition and creativity, supported and double-checked by their computer assistants as part of a well-designed process. This approach yields better outcomes than a purely automated one (which, in turn, does better than a purely human one , in chess and many other domains).

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