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Chess Legend Garry Kasparov On The Potential Of Crypto And Artificial Intelligence

By Daniel ShvartsmanCryptocurrencyDec 17, 2021 15:58
Chess Legend Garry Kasparov On The Potential Of Crypto And Artificial Intelligence
By Daniel Shvartsman   |  Dec 17, 2021 15:58
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The market is always moving fast. A lot of that movement can be noise, distractions from what really matter. It’s easy to say that investing is like chess in that you have to think a few steps ahead, but it’s an even more open, fluctuating framework, so that forward-looking mindset is only the first step.

Garry Kasparov is arguably the greatest chess player of all time, a longtime world champion who has gone on to a career of political activism. He’s also a cryptocurrency bull who just released his first NFT collection. He joined this week to talk about it, including why crypto has his attention right now. We also got into whether NFTs have staying power and what in crypto will stand the test of time. And given his background and writing, I couldn’t help but ask him about artificial intelligence as well.

The full interview is available here. We’re including videos of the three parts of the interview, along with excerpts from the transcript. The transcript is edited for brevity and clarity.

Part 1: Why Garry Kasparov is Interested in Crypto Why are you interested in crypto right now? What brought you to this?

Garry Kasparov: From my early days, I had great interest in technology…Of course, I played Deep Blue twice, won the first one, lost the second one. I always wanted to be at the cutting edge. I think it's important to actually explain why I'm doing things like NFTs.

Making a difference: that was always my motto in chess. And I thought, how about, you know, making a difference elsewhere. I wrote several books and one of them was Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins. It's about my personal experience with machines, but also generally about humans and computers.

So (given that background) it’s no surprise that I look at crypto at NFTs as one of the byproducts of crypto to find out, so what's it all about.

And I also have to say, in the world of crypto there was another entry for me. Since 2012 I have been a chair of a human rights foundation...Our signature event is called Oslo Freedom Forum. This is the biggest gathering of dissidents and human rights activists from around the world. From Moscow to Venezuela, from Belarus to Zimbabwe. You find the most amazing people with great stories. Our organization has been very active…(including) helping them with funding. And what kind of funding do you use in countries like Venezuela?

I believe in the future of crypto, I believe that it's the way that we are moving forward. Our life becomes more and more digital. So it's natural that the means to support that life should become digital as well.

And for those who say yes, but Bitcoin is volatile, and there's so many coins, it’s full of scams, I say, yes! It’s like every new business, big deal.

When you have new industries, new breakthrough ideas, you have so many scams, 99.9% goes away. You had the dot com crash, but it doesn’t mean the internet was wrong

Part 2: Crypto’s Place In Our Geopolitical Climate

IC: It’s hard to divorce crypto from a political aspect. How do you think in terms of crypto’s role in our geopolitical landscape?

GK: Yeah. You cannot insulate yourself from the political complications in the world, and whatever happens in the free world, elections and promises, and debates. Or what happens in the unfree world, like dictators deciding now it's like time to ban crypto.

But again, that all adds to my previous argument. It's the digital world, the globalized world, will offer more opportunities for individuals via decentralization. At the end of the day, it’s about our confidence.

If you have enough people in the world saying sorry, we need to move elsewhere, it’s going to happen. The dollar is weak. The only reason the dollar is a reserve currency is because other currencies are worse. So, it's all relative. It’s not 1944 for God's sake. This is 2021.

America is not the same dominant force as it used to be at the end of the World War II. So, America can fund its social programs, the government, by adding debt, because the dollar is still dominant. But its dominance is guaranteed only by the weakness of others.

I think long term, and again, I'm not a financial expert, it's more like a philosophical view. I think in the next 10 years, it's likely that the dollar will be replaced by a basket of cryptos. It's about history, I’ve read enough history books to see the trends. I’ve analyzed the trends, and I think that there will be great demand for individual protection as decentralization becomes the buzzword. People want to make sure that we control our lives.

Part 3: The challenges in AI growth

IC: You’re known for the Kasparov principle, which is essentially that humans plus machines plus superior processes will beat just humans are just machines. Where do you see that being applied in the world?

GK: Look, first of all, I have to say that, is that I am always taking my stand against those doomsayers predicting the end of humanity. Because you have all these Terminators and Matrixes, and God knows what, sweeping us away.

Machines made us stronger in the past, made us faster. Intelligent machines will make us smarter. I believe it's about promotion, not about elimination. But, we have to know how to use it effectively. The idea of the Kasparov principle is when we look at every problem, the machine will do most of the work. We have to recognize that we belong to the last few decimal places.

No matter how powerful AI is, there are still limitations for machines. Machines will dominate any closed system. Any closed framework, any game, chess, go, shogi, texas hold’em, poker, starcraft. The moment you do that, bingo, the machine will do a better job. But machines cannot transfer data from one closed system to another closed system. If you train the computer playing one Starcraft map, and then you use this knowledge for another Starcraft map with similar characters, you have to start from scratch, unless you have a human who can actually help transfer the knowledge.

IC: You've heard the saying that data is the new oil. And when you think of the companies that have the most data and the most power, you're talking about Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), you're talking about Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), you're talking about Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), just these giants. Are there risks to the Facebooks of the world dominating AI development far beyond even what governments can do?

GK: For the last five years I've been working with Avast software as their security ambassador. So I wrote dozens of essays on privacy and security.

The simple message is: if you generate data, someone will collect it. That’s something that people don't recognize, there’s no way you can avoid your data being collected, because it’s somewhere there.

So now the question is what happens with this data? And you talked about Google and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). That's one story, but don't forget you have undemocratic countries where the data is being collected without any GDPR protection.

And you're right. Data is the new oil. I’d say it’s more like fuel. But you still need a good engine. So the problem now for many corporations in America and Europe, is they don't have the same access to raw data as Chinese companies. So that's why I think, the GDPR, with all the benefits it offers, it also created obstacles for the growth of AI industries in the free world, because it puts them in a very disadvantaged position.

As far as the Googles and Facebooks of this world, I have been very critical of them. I'm not sure that simply doing what Americans did with Standard Oil 110 years ago will do the trick, but this is something that we should consider.

I think one of the problems, and again, I refer to my articles, is there's a triangle. You have government, you have Big Tech, and you have the public, and they will all be connected. I think the relationships within this triangle are so complex.

And unfortunately, with all this big talk, I think the public is yet to understand what we demand. Yeah, it's fine to say, “We need more security.” But, working with Avast, I know that the most popular password is still 12345678. And the second one is 123456789. Thank, you very much! If you don't follow the elemental rules, what do you expect? Somebody else, a sugar daddy to work for you?

So it’s a big story. And again, it's all about trade-offs. Unfortunately, public is much less concerned practically about these issues. So, I think that it requires a serious debate we've yet to actual enter this phase. Last question for you: Are you an investor in crypto?

GK: Yes, you know, I put my money where my mouth is. So what’s in there? You’ve got Bitcoin, Ethereum, all the biggies I imagine?

GK: Yeah. And I'm expecting good growth in this account!

Disclaimer Garry Kasparov disclosed positions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Daniel Shvartsman has no position in any instruments mentioned.
Chess Legend Garry Kasparov On The Potential Of Crypto And Artificial Intelligence

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Chess Legend Garry Kasparov On The Potential Of Crypto And Artificial Intelligence

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