In 1997, computers surpassed human-level abilities at chess when Garry Kasparov lost to Deep Blue. But for decades after, the best games of chess weren’t played by grandmasters or supercomputers. Instead, the best games were played by human-computer teams, known as “centaur” teams, which combined human intuitions with the raw computing power of a machine.
The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but 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. Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process. — Garry Kasparov, “The Chess Master and the Computer”
At Centaur Labs, we’re bringing this insight to medicine.