Thursday, June 28, 2012

What A Chucking Feat!

Japanesse boffins at Tokyo University have build a robot hand that is apparently unbeatable at Rock-Paper-Scissors. While this may seem like a remarkable feat in AI programming, all is not not as it might appear. 

Far from caclulating the odds, cranking through a complex algorithm that takes account of all the human opponent's previous moves, pulse rate, breathing, eye movement, endorphin levels, brain wave patterns and a range of other metrics that might have been lifted from a cyberpunk yarn, this tin wanking spanner is nothing more than a cheat. Apparently it uses a camera (seen behind the human hand in the video) to monitor the shape being formed and then plays the corresponding winning move. 

It's all done very fast, in milliseconds (which is a second with a lot of legs) so perhaps we should be impressed, but I can't help but think it's nothing more than cheating, albeit carried out rather quickly: quite literally, it's simply pulling a fast one.