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Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen

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CHAPTER 2

Online Tools Make Us Smarter

In 1999, world chess champion Garry Kasparov played a game of chess against “the World.” In this event, organized by Microsoft, the idea was that anyone in the world could go to the game website, and vote on what move should be taken next. On a typical move more than 5,000 people voted, and over the entire game 50,000 people from 75 countries voted. The World Team decided on a new move every 24 hours, and on any given turn the move taken was whichever got the most votes. The game was billed as “Kasparov versus the World.”

The game exceeded all expectations. After 62 moves of innovative chess, in which the balance of the game changed several times, the World Team finally resigned. Kasparov called it “the ...

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