Super Computer Engages Rim Country's Best

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Gary Kasparov is tilting at windmills again.

The world's greatest chess player decided to once more take on a super computer in a John Henry-type fight to the finish.

You will recall that a "frazzled and exhausted" Kasparov lost a six-game match in 1997 to an IBM super computer named Deep Blue. At the time, it was considered "a watershed moment for technology," according to a recent Associated Press article.

Kasparov, on the other hand, claimed that IBM was cheating -- that Deep Blue received tips from humans, and that it was mysteriously dismantled right after the match.

His new foe, an Israeli-programmed computer called Deep Junior, would offer a much fairer fight, Kasparov emphasized before the match began.

"Deep Blue was more about PR, selling the story, scaring the human race," Kasparov told reporter Erin McClam. "This machine is a real opponent. It's not hiding behind a curtain."

While Deep Junior can only process 3 million chess moves per second (Deep Blue could handle 200 million), it has been programmed to think more like a human -- "choosing strategy over simply capturing pieces quickly."

"Raw power of the computer is not everything," said Amir Ban, one of Deep Juniors programmers. "It's very important how efficiently you use that power."

Until it encountered Kasparov, Deep Junior had been very efficient indeed. In its two years of existence, it had never lost to a human.

That record fell quickly as Kasparov took the opening match. Experts were stunned when Deep Junior behaved even more like a human than expected, pausing 25 minutes to contemplate one move.

But the match ended in a 3-3 tie when Kasparov played the sixth and final game "not to lose" -- offering Deep Junior a draw even though he held the superior position.

Now that it's over, I got to thinking. Instead of dismantling Deep Junior like they did Deep Blue, maybe we can bring it to Payson where it can be programmed to take on a number of local experts and authorities at their own games. Here are some Rimaroo vs. machine possibilities:

DEEP SENIOR

Deep Junior makes the ultimate transition to Deep Senior, taking on Payson's largest population demographic in a series of competitions that include reminiscing about the good old days, driving with a turn signal on, getting in and out of recliners and feeding the ducks at Green Valley Park.

DEEP BOTTLE

A group of local politicians bellies up to the bar with a super computer named Deep Bottle. The last man or machine standing wins. Of course, all contestants will be drinking sarsaparilla.

DEEP WELL

What could be more appropriate for the Rim country than a well-drilling competition between man and machine. Since nobody is likely to hit water anyway, maybe the winner should be the side that manages to tick off the residents of Star Valley and Diamond Point Shadows first.

DEEP DO DO

This super computer is named for what we're going to be in if we don't get some serious moisture soon. This is a free-for-all competition between the super computer of the same name and all those with cockamamie schemes to make it rain or find new sources of water, including but not limited to rain dances, water witching, cloud seeding, staging a coup at Salt River Project, and taking over the Pine Water Company from Brooke Utilities.

DEEP THROAT II

The porn movie of the same name was the source of all the "deep" modifiers that followed. In this competition, which takes the name of that legendary movie, the super computer takes on the Rim country's most talkative people in a round robin tournament. Going up against the machine are such notable "talkers" as Al Ayers, Ruby Finney, Pat Randall, Scott Flake and Bob Ware. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't put my money on the computer in this one. These locals have some major league mouths.

DEEP DUMPSTER

A super computer dubbed Deep Dumpster takes on Lisa Boyle and the Payson Humane Society's Dumpsters Divers in a winner-take-all battle for the Rim country's aluminum. All proceeds, of course, go the local shelter, which does a yeoman's job with very few resources.

DEEP SPIT

What's more Rim country than spittin'? Let's see if this super computer is all man or what. Competitions would include spittin' in the wind, spittin' out a pickup truck window, and spittin' for dramatic emphasis while talkin'.

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