This Day in History: May 11
May 11, 1979
"VisiCalc" Given First Public Demonstration.
Harvard MBA candidate Daniel Bricklin and programmer Robert Frankston gave the first demonstration of VisiCalc, the program that made a business machine of the personal computer, for the Apple II. VisiCalc (for visible calculator) automated the recalculation of spreadsheets. A huge success, more than 100,000 copies were sold in the first year.
May 11, 1997
IBM's Deep Blue Beats World's Best Chess Player
Garry Kasparov beat IBM's Deep Blue in the first match of what many considered a test of artificial intelligence. The world's best chess player, Kasparov eventually lost the match and $1.1 million purse to the IBM supercomputer, which he had claimed could never surpass human chess ability. After losing the sixth and final game of the match, Kasparov accused IBM of building a machine specifically to beat him. Observers said he was frustrated by Deep Blue's quickness although they expected him to win with unconventional moves.