AI beats humans for the first time in physical skill game


AI’s ability to beat human players in games like chess and GO is no longer surprising. After all, artificial intelligence has proved it can outperform its animate creators in certain tasks, especially when it comes to processing and analysing information. But physical skill has remained a human prerogative — until now.

Researchers at ETH Zurich have created an AI robot with the task to learn how to play the popular labyrinth maze game. The goal of the game is simple: using two knobs, you have to steer a marble ball from a start to an end point without it falling into the holes across the board.

But if you’ve ever played it, you know it’s actually quite challenging. The scientific explanation behind its difficulty is that it requires acute motor skills, spatial reasoning abilities — and a lot of practice.

The robot, named CyberRunner, is equipped with two motors (its hands), a camera (its eyes), and a computer (its brain), allowing it to play the game just like a person would.

AI robot CyberRunner beats humans in labyrinth maze game