Robotic march to world domination halted. Kind of.
Robots can flip burgers, fly planes, and crush the best human players at GO. The advances in artificial intelligence have left us all glancing over our shoulders wondering about our jobs. And whether we will wake up one morning to find robots ruling the world.
Don’t laugh it could happen. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking say so.
But now humans have fought back. They have proved robots can’t always rule the roost.
A professional gamer has beaten a robot at StarCraft.
Small steps and all that.
Spanking the bots
In a contest held in Seoul, Korea a human player wiped the floor with his robotic opponents. Song Byung-go beat four different robots. Facebook’s robot ‘Cherry Pi’ was among the vanquished.
Song only took 27 minutes to beat all four robots. One of his AI opponents lasted just four and a half minutes.
Don’t get too carried away
On the face of it this looks a crushing victory. One which gives hope for the future of mankind.
It is especially impressive given the robots could complete up to 19,000 actions per minute. This compares to the few hundred actions a minute human players can perform.
It’s all in the game
Unlike Go and Chess in which AI has beaten humans StarCraft is a real-time game.
According to the MIT Technology Review: “(Go) allows bots and human players to see the main board and devote time to formulating a strategy. StarCraft requires players to use their memory, devise their strategy, and plan ahead simultaneously. All inside a constrained, simulated world.”
AI cannot cope with those demands. Yet.
Here it comes
A new set of AI development tools are helping boffins to re-programme their robots. Google’s DeepMind are developing AI for StarCraft. Other groups are tackling other games.
It all means the human gaming ascendancy over robots is likely to be short-lived.
A view shared by Korean computer science professor Jung Han-min. He said: “When AI bots are equipped with [high-level] decision-making systems like AlphaGo, humans will never be able to win.”
Humans will never be able to win. Could almost be a prophecy.