Microsoft's AI Just Shattered The Ms Pac-Man High Score

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The notion that this is the first time this score has been achieved is backed up by Highscore.com, a resource for tracking high scores in the still-competitive classic arcade gaming scene. Mostly because Ms. Pac-Man has been "difficult to crack" says Microsoft.

Maluuba, the Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) startup that Microsoft acquired earlier this year, has beat Ms. Pac-Man using its technology.

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Still, it's clear that beating Ms. Pac-Man is the latest in a string of game achievements for the AI divisions of Silicon Valley giants.

This undeniable threat leaves humanity with two options: Either we do everything in our power to prevent this AI from learning about Scientology, or we divert all of our resources to training a dedicated squad of Ms. Pac-Man players who can try to reach the flawless score faster than the machine. And yet here it is, dominating Ms. Pac-Man like a boss. Because this is similar to how the human brain may work, it could have far-reaching implications for how AI learns new tasks. In fact, Microsoft's blog quotes an associate professor at Montreal's McGill University who also sees it as a major achievement among researchers in the AI field.

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That's something that even no human has ever achieved, the team says. Microsoft's AI team divided the massive problem of reaching a ideal score on Ms. Pac-Man into bite-size pieces and had team members working on small pieces of the big problem.

The method, called Hybrid Reward architecture, used the divide and conquer strategy, while appointing a boss to take advice on the best course of action. "For example, if 100 agents wanted to go right because that was the best path to their pellet, but three wanted to go left because there was a deadly ghost to the right, it would give more weight to the ones who had noticed the ghost and go left". As to why this version of the game was used for it (instead of the original arcade version), a spokesperson explained that researchers had utilized Atari 2600 coding, for better research results and methods.

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As long as the economy "evolves broadly as expected", the plan "would gradually reduce the Federal Reserve's securities holdings". Equity markets struggled despite a strong lead from Wall Street, where the Dow and S&P 500 ended at record highs.

"It's another step toward more general intelligence", she added.

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