Week 13 Response

In Late Capitalism and the Scientific Image of Man, Pasquineilli references Adorno and Horkheimer (pg 113) in their statement that in machines, the automation of human-designed tasks is not impersonations of the human thought. It states that it is the other way around, that the human thought is impersonating the machine that it creates, with the ultimate goal of the machine replacing it. This is famously demonstrated two decades ago when IBM’s Deep Blue became the first computer to defeat then Chess Champion Garry Kasparov at chess. Back then, the Elo rating (metrics for relative skill) between chess computers and top-tier players were roughly similar, and occasionally the human player was able to beat the computer. However, the progression of software development and Moore’s Law has rendered computer Elo ratings to substantially surpass that of the human capacity, rendering such a match between humans and computers futile and obsolete. Nowadays, top developers of chess software pitch their programs against each other (even for all eternity of 1 game). At the forefront of chess ability, human activity is no longer useful; yet human games at the highest possible level are still carried out and spectated more than computer ones. While it cannot be denied that computers are now used over humans for analysis of chess games and that technology has to some extent supplanted humans, it seems that there is still a preoccupation with the human ability and its perpetual struggle to forward itself.