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Avast Security Ambassador Garry Kasparov to Speak at DEF CON

Kasparov to discuss embracing the rise of intelligent machines and how humans and machines can get the most out of each other

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Garry Kasparov, Avast security ambassador, and former world chess champion, will discuss why humanity doesn’t need to fear the rise of intelligent machines and should even embrace it at DEF CON 2017 in Las Vegas. Kasparov will highlight how increasingly intelligent machines can complement and change how we act and think, as well as the unchanging need for human ingenuity in fields like digital security. Rather than cutting humans out of the picture, Kasparov envisions a better path where humans and machines get the best from each other through better interfaces and processes.

Kasparov has been fascinated with interactions between man and machine ever since his historic chess matches against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in 1996 and 1997. He sees the collaboration between humans and intelligent machines at work in Avast’s powerful threat detection network, and security as an increasingly critical intersection of human rights and technology.

What: Presentation and discussion — The Brain’s Last Stand
When: Friday, July 28, 2017, 10 – 10:45 a.m. PDT
Where: Track 3 at DEF CON 2017, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Who: Garry Kasparov, Avast Security Ambassador
Kasparov’s latest book is Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins. It recounts Kasparov’s famous matches against Deep Blue and presents his optimistic analysis of human-machine collaboration. In prominent reviews, Deep Thinking has been praised by DeepMind guru Demis Hassabis as well as by tech critic Nicholas Carr.

Lecture at the University of Leuven |

In Leuven, Belgium Garry Kasparov took part in commentary on the Grand Chess Tour and delivered a lecture in the University of Leuven on artificial intelligence, man and machine interaction and his new book “Deep Thinking – Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins.”


Garry Kasparov returns to chess for US tournament!


Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov is coming out of retirement to play in a US tournament next month, organisers have said.

Kasparov, who dominated chess for more than 15 years, will compete against nine top players in St Louis, Missouri.

“Ready to see if I remember how to move the pieces! Will I be able to announce my re-retirement afterwards if not?!,” Kasparov tweeted sardonically.

Kasparov left chess in 2005 for politics and founded an opposition movement called The Other Russia that accused President Vladimir Putin of returning the country to its dictatorial past. He became a powerful political voice and and even tried to run against Putin in the 2008 Russian presidential election, leaving the country in 2013 and taking Croatian citizenship.

At 54, Kasparov will be the oldest player competing for the Sinquefield Cup. “Looks like I’m going to raise the average age of the field and lower the average rating!” he added.

Born Garry Weinstein in Azerbaijan to an Armenian mother and Jewish father, Kasparov has been described as “a monster with 100 eyes, who sees all”.

He quickly understood the interest in combining computers with chess and in 1996 agreed to play against IBM’s “Deep Blue” supercomputer. Kasparov won that match but lost a second a year later.

Sharp-worded criticism, such as likening Putin to Hitler, made him a target and he risked arrest after being accused of biting a police officer’s hand at a protest in 2012. The opposition news website he founded, Kasparov.ru, has been blocked in Russia since 2014.

In another battle, Kasparov attempted in 2014 to dethrone the eccentric head of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, but lost after securing only 61 federation delegates votes out of 175.

Kasparov was given a wild card entry to the tournament. The current world No 1, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, will also play, as will Hikaru Nakamura, world No 2.

While he will not face Carlsen, Kasparov, who is in the Rapid and Blitz competition, may go against number two Hikaru Nakamura or the up-and-coming 26-year-old Russian Sergey Karyakin.

Garry’s Timeline

Follow Garry's extraordinary path through years of relentless activism.

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