We’ve seen robots that can do a lot of things. Chop noodles. Fly like birds. Stalk old people in nursing homes. Now we can add beat humans 100% of the time at Rock Paper Scissors to that growing list of reasons we should worry.
Oh, sure. We’ve made robots that can play games before. Some have even beaten chess grandmasters. But this is something else – Rock Paper Scissors is a game of chance, right? How can a robot win 100% of the time at a game of chance?
Developed by the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Tokyo, this robot can do exactly that. It never loses a match of Rock Paper Scissors (or Janken, the Japanese equivalent), no matter how many Rocky-like training montages you might put yourself through to become the best. You’ll lose, it will win. Every time.
It’s not really chance, though, is it? The robot is able to perceive human hand motions at such a high speed that it can determine what the human is going to choose before the human can even process the thought of blinking. It looks instantaneous to us, but it’s actually the result of high-speed cameras and processors, and a really fast and articulate robot hand that can calculate in a single millisecond, and react quicker than you can perceive.
“…the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms.”
Think about that, then get back to work on your time machine so we can stop Skynet before it starts…or is it already too late?