In the after-match press conference, a shattered Kasparov vowed to rip Deep Blue to shreds in a rematch. But having won a massive PR boost and an $11.4bn rise in its market value, IBM decided to end the experiment and dismantle Deep Blue. "It's like going to the moon and returning home without looking around," wrote one chess commentator.
Chess fans will be engrossed by Kasparov's tale but the book deserves a far broader readership. The concluding chapters contain one of the most reasoned explanations of how humanity can benefit from working with its computational creations. In spite of their inferiority to machines, humans have continued to play chess for pleasure. Moreover, chess programs have helped accelerate the development of many young players and opened up new insights into the game.
Kasparov describes how he sensed a kind of inhuman intelligence emanating from Deep Blue, but he usefully distinguishes between different forms of intelligence. "Deep Blue was intelligent the way your programmable alarm clock is intelligent," he writes. "Not that losing to a $10 million alarm clock made me feel any better."
Since his retirement from chess, Kasparov has spent much time talking with computer scientists and artificial-intelligence experts. He firmly believes in the so-called Moravec paradox, which states that computers do well what humans do badly and vice versa, suggesting a useful complementarity.
Kasparov argues that humans are often fallible, finding patterns in randomness and correlations where none exist. Computers can help us be more objective and amplify our intelligence. Technological progress can never be stopped even if it should be better managed, he claims. Lamenting jobs lost to technology is little better than complaining that antibiotics put gravediggers out of work.
Just as in training for chess, self-discipline in education and brutal honesty about our weaknesses can help us better prepare for the world to come. But the indispensable ingredient for success will be designing the processes we use for managing computers, and only humans can do that. For this, he has come up with a formulation that has been called "Kasparov's Law":Weak human + machine + better process is superior to strong human + machine + inferior process.
"I remain an optimist if only because I've never found much advantage in the alternatives," he writes.
Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, by Garry Kasparov, John Murray, RRP£20/Public Affairs, RRP$28, 304 pages