Get with the program: Kasparov, deep blue, and accusations of unsportsthinglike conduct

Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (2):145–154 (1998)
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Garry Kasparov made two allegations of unfairness in his recent chess match with the computer ‘Deep Blue’. The purpose of this inquiry is to determine whether the ethos of the contest would be violated if the purported activities had occurred and on what grounds. Kasparov’s first allegation, that the program was tampered with during play, would if true, violate fair play as it would encroach on Deep Blue’s autonomy, a necessary condition for fair play in individual strategic endeavours. The most charitable interpretation of Kasparov’s second allegation, that scouting information was used in an unfair manner, concerns questions of the nature of the identity of artificial individuals. Consideration of this issue finds Kasparov’s claim groundless



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Steve Gimbel
Gettysburg College

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