Win, lose or draw, one thing became clear in the latest man-versus-machine matchup: neither will ever be the same. In February, 1996, when world chess champion Garry Kasparov first took on Deep Blue, an IBM RS/6000 SP parallel processor with specialized microchips, the man emerged the winner. Then, while IBM engineers doubled their computer’s power so it could examine 200 million moves per second, the 34-year-old Russian grand master chose to brush
up on the intuitive aspects of the game that cannot be grasped by number-crunching alone. With research gleaned from the tournament, Big Blue’s heirs may move on to other complex situations, such as weather forecasting, air traffic control or molecular dynamics. As for Kasparov, who once claimed that—human error aside—a person will always be better at chess than a machine, he admitted that Deep Blue had shown “signs of intelligence.”
From romance to renegades
American authorTami Hoag has published 20 romance novels since she first read one in 1988 while waiting for her disabled pickup to be towed to a garage. But crime elements kept intruding. So in 1995,
Hoag wrote her first fullfledged thriller, Night Sins.
With that switch, she arrived on best-seller lists, and the book was turned into a recent CBS mini-series. Her new novel, A Thin Dark Line, about a policewoman’s investigation of a sexual homicide, is set in rural Louisiana, far from Hoag’s Minnesota farm. But the plot is derived directly from her frustration over an actual case in her home state in the 1980s. As in the book, authorities lost their chance of getting their prime suspect after a key piece of evidence was ruled inadmissable in court. Unlike her fiction, however, 38-year-old Hoag notes that real life provided no tidy conclusion. “That guy,” she says, “is still roaming about free.”
Rock 'n' passion
Surreal, gritty and colorful, Floria Sigismondi’s directorial and photographic style has caught the eye of some of the hottest names in rock. She has made videos for ghoulish rockers Marilyn Manson, British hiphop artist Tricky, as Well as David Bowie. At age 22, she got her very first photo shoot, a lingerie spread for the now-defunct TO magazine, which won her a coveted National Magazine Award. She soon added directing to her list of credits. Unlike videos with more typical narratives, hers are highly imagistic. Forthat, Sigismondi, 31, who now divides her time between New York City and Toronto, credits her heritage: born in Pescara, Italy, she was raised in Hamilton by her operasinger parents, Lina and Domenico. “The tragedy, passion and theatrics of opera,” she says, “have all influenced me.”
A mouthpiece for cartoons
David Kaye may be one of the busiest actors in Canada, although he is almost never recognized by his fans. Kaye works in theatre, film and television, but he is also currently one of the most sought-after voices in the industry, starring in commercials, TV cartoons such as GI Joe and Beasties—in which he does the menacing voice of bad guy Megatron—and animated series such as Kleo the Misfit Unicorn. “I know it’s not a normal career,” says 32-year-old Kaye. “It’s not even a normal
acting career, but it works for me.” A former disc jockey in Vancouver, where he still lives, Kaye became interested in doing voice-overs while still in radio. For one thing, the work is fun. “I get to use all these voices that I have in my head,” says Kaye, who adds with a laugh, “how many people can say that they are a cartoon character? There’s Bugs Bunny, there’s Elmer Fudd— and there’s me.”
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