Published: 10th February 2022
What happened on February 10: Tom and Jerry make a splash and a supercomputer takes on Kasparov
Tom and Jerry ran riot on the screens for the first time and a machine took on a chess grandmaster and this is what ensued
Today marks the 82nd anniversary of the first-ever short film of the famous TV characters Tom and Jerry. It was created by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera and produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, an American media company for an initial run of 114 shorts from 1940 to 1958. During this run, they bagged seven Academy Awards for the Best Animated Short Film category which was as many as the legendary Walt Disney won for his Silly Symphonies. The first feature-length movie starring the two mischievous characters came much later in 1992.
Tom, the cat was actually named Jasper in his debut appearance while Jerry's name was not explicitly mentioned at all. Some believe the names actually come from a commonplace phrase used for young men given to drinking, gambling and riotous living in 19th century England. But today, the show has created a colloquialism of itself due to its immense popularity through several generations.
The day is also significant in computing history as on February 10 in 1996, the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue played against reigning world chess champion Garry Kasparov and won the first game of the six-round series held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But human power came back strong as Kasparov won three of the next five games and drew the other two to take the match with a scoreline of 4-2. But the rise of the machines was completed in a rematch next year when Deep Blue edged Kasparov in a closely fought 3-1/2—2-1/2 points victory. It thus became the first computer program to defeat a world champion in a match under tournament regulations. The machines had truly arrived on the artificial intelligence scene and they meant to stay.