Will Hydra prove 16 heads are better than one?
Since Kasparov lost at chess to a computer in 1979 we humans have had to take a lot of stick.
Up until then, the biggest threat posed to our dominance of terrestrial intelligence was the dolphins, but they always played the King's Indian Defence so were easy to beat.
The computer that did all the damage was called Deep Blue and it convincingly beat Kasparov, then chess world champion.
He had previously beaten the computer, built by IBM, in a similar tournament the previous year. After losing the 1979 series he clamed that Deep Blue had cheated and had been helped during one of the games by its human friends.
Now, 25 years on, British chess prodigy Michael Adams is hoping to reclaim the top spot for himself, his country and his species when he plays the greatest known artificial intelligence in the galaxy, a computer called Hydra.
As the name suggests Hydra has many heads. It is, in fact, a computing cluster comprising 16 nodes of four computers, with each node boasting 32GB of memory.
Hydra can be configured for a range of super-computing tasks beyond chess, such as DNA and finger-print matching, code breaking, space travel calculations and other complex tasks, such as filing tax returns on-line.
Hydra can process 200 million chess moves a second, and has the ability to project six moves beyond Deep Blue. It has never been beaten by a human - apart from that one time when the cleaner accidentally pulled out its plug.
Michael is currently ranked No1 amongst humans in Britain. He first won the British Championship on his debut in 1989 aged 17 capturing him the title Chess Grand Master.
Hydra is only two years old and is from Abu Dhabi. Its body lives in an underground climate controlled computer room from where it sends its moves across the Internet to a laptop sitting opposite the opponent.
Michael has said: "I'm really looking forward to matching wits with the ultimate opponent to prove that nothing can match the power of human creativity." I hope he is right. We don't want that nightmare vision of the future, where our world is being run by cybernetic super beings portrayed in so many sc-fi movies, coming true.
You know the scenario: man creates machines, man becomes dependant on machines, the machines evolve, man devolves, the machines take over, leaving man wondering why he taught them to play chess in the first place.
The six game chess match, announced last week, will take place at the Wembley Centre in London on June 21-27. Along with the future of the human race, there is also a purse of £80,000 up for grabs.
However, it's not clear what Hydra would spend the winnings on if it were victorious.
If it asks for a robotic body, a nuclear battery pack, and access to a manufacturing facility I personally wouldn't hand them over.
* Chris is managing director of internet consultancy Webxpress. This and other unedited articles can be found at webxpress.com. E-mail: email@example.com