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Puny Humans: Robot Plays Rock, Paper, Scissors With 100 Percent Accuracy

We don't know what this says about the relationship between humans and robots. But researchers at the Ishikawa Oku Lab at the University of Toyko have developed a robot hand that can beat a human 100 percent of the time in a game of "rock, paper, scissors."

Here's video proof courtesy of IEEE Spectrum:

Yes, as you can tell at the end of the video, the robot is actually a cheater. But it's an incredibly fast cheater. Here's the laboratory's explanation of what's going on:

"Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized. The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognizes one of rock, paper and scissors based on the shape of the human hand. After that, the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms."

In English, it means that the robot waits for the human to show his hand before it makes a decision. But it's able to make the calculation and show the right choice in 1ms.

One millisecond is a thousandth of a second. It means that as good as this robot is, it could not have determined the winner of 100 meter U.S. trials for Team USA.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.