Who’s Smarter: Mike Tyson, Garry Kasparov? A.I., or a real accountant?
I was having a conversation with a buddy of mine the other day, who is a programmer at an O&G ERP software company. We were kinda riffing on the topic of how long it would take until A.I. could perform many of the routine tasks we have accountants for. After all, with DocVue, Enverus, and Quorum’s Dynamic Docs, it seems like the machines are slowly chipping away at the drudgery of menial accounting work. But it’s the oil and gas industry, so… you know, we’re about 20 years behind the kitchen appliance sector.
Remember in the ‘90’s when Deep Blue finally beat Garry Kasparov in chess? I remember chess geeks and computer nerds were amped up about it. Kasparov himself had a full (and untelegenic) meltdown. Kasparov boldly predicted a machine would never be smart enough to beat him, a grandmaster, at chess. But what did we really learn from that game?
Which I guess brings us to the title: is Garry Kasparov smarter than Mike Tyson? Most people would say so, but I’m not buying it.
Sure, there is the ear-biting incident, but in plain old common sense, the smart money is on Mike Tyson.
Let’s face it: Iron Mike hasn’t challenged General Motors to put together a machine specifically designed to chase him around the ring and hydraulically pummel him in the face until he falls down. You think Mr. Tyson is going to let the Colt people sponsor a contest where he jumps into the ring to box against a Colt Python .357 Magnum and its operator? He’s not stupid.
Kasparov, on the other hand, did exactly that with IBM.
Would a rocket win the 50-yard dash in the Olympics? How about a Harley-Davidson in the Boston Marathon? Or a cigarette boat in a 100m freestyle? We already know machines do things better than us— that’s why we build them. They run faster, think quicker, jump higher, and do math better. There’re not against us: they’re part of us. Chess is just a math problem and eventually computers would (and did) do it better.
Of course, there is more to chess than just math— the way humans play it. But there’s also more to boxing than just hitting the other guy in the face really hard (the way humans play it). But if you do math fast enough, and hit hard enough, you’re gonna win at chess and boxing, respectively.
So, will machines eventually displace accountants? Well, in rest of the world, maybe a lot of them in the next hundred years. For Oil & Gas? Nah, we will have used up the unproven reserves and transitioned to nuclear power before that tech makes its way into The Patch.
Now, that we have established accountants aren’t going anywhere— yet— and that Mike Tyson is smarter than Kasparov, lets pit Mr. Tyson against Deep Blue. Then we might learn something.
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