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This robot is better at Threes than you are

Above: A robot playing Threes.

Image Credit: Matthew Wegner

Like in the story of the steel-driving man John Henry, a machine is currently trying to prove it is better than humanity. Only this time, instead of digging a hole into the side of a mountain, this robot is trying to get the top score in a popular mobile puzzle game.

Game developers Walt Destler and Matthew Wegner have combined their know-how to make a digital monster that can play Threes. They’re streaming a live video of the artificial intelligence-powered robot that calculates moves and then swipes up, down, left, or right in the game, a mind-bender that’s well regarded among players and critics. You try to get a high score by combining numbers on a four-by-four playfield. It’s also the title that inspired popular clones like 2048. Threes is simple but difficult to master, but that’s not stopping this robot from attempting to do just that.

Destler came up with the algorithm that enables the machine to asses the playfield and make the best move. Wegner pieced together arms and actuators that are capable of performing the physical swipes on an iPad screen. It’s pretty incredible, but I hope their next project will get a Roomba playing the sci-fi shooter Titanfall.

You can watch the robot go at it live in the video below:

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