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A Timeline of Automation: The Turk, IBM Deep Blue, and A.I.

By Austin Edy

1770: The Turk

The year is 1770. Hungarian inventor, Wolfgang von Kempelen, is presenting his new invention to Austrian royalty: a robed wooden wizard sitting in front of a chess board. Wolfgang dazzled the crowd by displaying the inner workings of his creation to prove the machine was not human-controlled. The machine then went on to beat multiple opponents and became known as The Turk.

The Turk gained a reputation for being the best chess “player” in the world, facing off against Chess GrandMasters and world leaders (Napoleon, Charles Babbage, and Benjamin Franklin – to name a few). Napoleon famously made an illegal move, which The Turk then swiped all pieces off the board to Napoleon’s delight. Unfortunately, the world eventually discovered a small statured chess master was behind The Turk’s movements hidden by ingenious engineering. Despite the misleading nature of the The Turk, Automation has pushed the limits of human imagination since 1770.

A Timeline of Automation: The Turk, IBM Deep Blue, and A.I.
The Mechanical Turk

1997: IBM Deep Blue

Fast forward to 1997. World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov is facing off against the latest machine to challenge human Chess dominance, IBM Deep Blue. Unlike The Turk, Deep Blue leveraged machine intelligence to beat Kasparov in a best of 6 series, marking the first time a computer beat a World Champion. Deep Blue’s dominance sparked a fear of humans vs machines, but not for Kasparov – he wondered what they could accomplish working together, Human+machine. He married human intuition, creativity, and empathy with the machines computational abilities to birth the centaur chess player, or freestyle chess. Observing the dominance of this new style of technology-enhanced chess – Economist Tyler Cowan, in his book Average is Over, claims, “man plus computer is a stronger player than computer alone.”


A Timeline of Automation: The Turk, IBM Deep Blue, and A.I.
Kasparov vs Deep Blue

2018: Artificial Intelligence

We now arrive at present day, 2018. Machine intelligence is smarter than ever, and it enhances every facet of our daily lives, from helping detect medical conditions early on to helping us optimize our finances. However, the power of A.I. in going beyond human capabilities and bettering us at the things we do has created in some a fear of automation. For example, in robots replacing the labor force. According to a ZipRecruiter study, State of the American Job Seeker, 64% of job seekers believe workers in most industries will be replaced with computers or robots in their lifetime. Silicon Valley visionary, Elon Musk, claims  “artificial intelligence is probably our biggest existential threat.

At AllyO, we are aware of our history and responsibility, and therefore believe in Kasparov’s vision in marrying human and machine intelligence. Just as Kasparov brought about the most powerful Chess player by pairing Humans and A.I., AllyO aims to bring about the next-generation of recruiting by pairing human recruiters with our A.I. technology. The next-generation of human recruiters powered by A.I. will position themselves as the most efficient version of Talent Acquisition Specialists. AllyO is an ancillary tool to the skill set of recruiters (assisting with culture fit, soft skills testing, personal touches) and the recruiter helps AllyO understand human language and intentions to serve humans better. We strive to allow for them to perform their job more efficiently in order to spend time with the right people and make the right hiring decision. A.I. is a scary tool that is often wildly misunderstood. But in the hands of industry visionaries, the results can be very rewarding.

A Timeline of Automation: The Turk, IBM Deep Blue, and A.I.
How AllyO empowers human recruiting through machine intelligence

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