Mankind’s fascination with creating robots capable of outperforming their masters is one I’ve never fully understood. You’ve got the chess-playing-robot, the Jeopardy-playing-robot, and now, courtesy of the University of Tokyo, there’s a robot that will beat your ass at rock, paper, scissors. Every. Single. Time.
Scientists didn’t just want a robot proficient in the ancient art of roshambo, they wanted one that would win mankind’s most basic friendly contest every single time. The amazing thing about the robot is that it does in fact win every single time, but it’s not due to some mathematical algorithm, statistical probabilities and averages, or other boring science stuff most of us slept through in AP classes. The secret? It cheats.
The robot uses advanced motion sensing technology in order to basically watch its opponent’s hand, notes Telegraph UK. So long as the opponent is human, the robot more or less reads your muscle movements and knows what you’ll go for: rock, paper, or scissors. The robot’s analysis is so quick, it’s imperceptible to the human eye. This means that the robot isn’t simply guessing. It’s literally seeing what you’re doing as you do it, and then beats you to the winning gesture.
Why a rock, paper, scissors robot? CNET notes that roshambo is used to make decisions for just about everything over in Japan, much like flipping a coin here in the U.S.
“This technology is one example that show a possibility of cooperation control within a few milliseconds,” said a spokesperson of the Ishikawa Oku lab that made the robot. “This technology can be applied to cooperative work between human beings and robots, without time delay.”
Here’s the crazy video. Let us know what you think of the roshambobot in the comments!
Apocalypse nigh. I always knew it would be robots.