Press releases

Avast Security Ambassador Garry Kasparov and CTO Ondrej Vlcek to Address Artificial Intelligence at Web Summit

Kasparov and Vlcek discuss threats and opportunities of intelligent machines

LISBON, Portugal – November 7, 2017 – Garry Kasparov, Avast security ambassador and former world chess champion, and Ondrej Vlcek, Avast CTO & EVP, Consumer, will discuss the threats and opportunities of artificial intelligence (AI) at Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon. Addressing delegates at one of the world’s largest technology conferences, Kasparov and Vlcek will talk about humanity’s deep-seated anxiety over powerful, disruptive tech like AI, and how we can use our increasingly intelligent machines to solve real-world problems.

Vlcek joined Avast as a software developer in 1995 and became chief developer in 2003. He has been a thought-leader of AI-based cybersecurity since its inception and leads the company’s AI initiatives.

Kasparov became the Avast Security Ambassador in 2016. Ever since his historic chess matches against the IBM Deep Blue supercomputer in 1996 and 1997, he has been fascinated by the opportunities of man-machine collaboration. As Avast Security Ambassador, Kasparov speaks about the pros and cons of future technologies while maintaining an optimistic view of how these technologies will improve our lives if we develop them while leaving ample room for human ingenuity, morality, and guidance.

In his latest book Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, Kasparov analyses in earnest the potential of human-machine collaboration. He recounts his famous chess matches against Deep Blue and presents his optimistic analysis of the tremendous promise of intelligent machines. In prominent reviews, Deep Thinking has been praised by DeepMind guru Demis Hassabis and tech critic Nicholas Carr.

Speech Details

  • What: Presentation – Artificial Intelligence – Threat or Opportunity?
  • When: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 11:15 – 11:40am
  • Where: Auditorium:, Web Summit, MEO Arena and FIL, Lisbon
  • Who: Garry Kasparov, Avast Security Ambassador & Ondrej Vlcek, Avast CTO & EVP, Consumer

Chess match:
Web Summit visitors are also invited to see Kasparov play chess against ten delegates simultaneously on Thursday, November 9 at 1:15pm.

Avast will hold a press conference with a media Q&A session with Garry Kasparov and Ondrej Vlcek on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 2:00pm at the Web Summit media village.

If you are interested in joining the press conference, please contact

About Garry Kasparov:
Garry Kasparov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963. He became the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985 and was the world’s top-rated player for 20 years, until he retired in 2005. His matches against arch-rival Anatoly Karpov and the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue popularized chess and machine intelligence in unprecedented ways. Kasparov became a pro-democracy leader in Russia and an outspoken defender of individual freedom around the world, a mission he continues as the chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford-Martin School, where his lectures focus on human-machine collaboration, and is on the executive board of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics. Kasparov is a provocative speaker who appears frequently before business, academic, and political audiences to speak about decision-making, strategy, technology, and artificial intelligence. His influential writings on politics, cognition, and tech have appeared in dozens of major publications around the world. He has written two acclaimed series of chess books and the bestsellers How Life Imitates Chess on decision-making and Winter Is Coming on Russia and Vladimir Putin. His new book, Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, was released in May 2017. In 2016, he was named a Security Ambassador by Avast, where he discusses cybersecurity and the digital future. He lives in New York City with his wife Dasha and their two children.