Think You’re Good at Games? Our Money is on the Robot
Convergence is the catalyst that transforms ingenious inventions into world-changing sensations. For instance, take the ubiquitous smartphone.
We need only ring up the mid-2000s to see the progression from basic cellular phone to camera phone. Kicking off the camera phone craze was a flip phone boasting a 0.3-megapixel camera. Memory? How about an unimpressive capacity of 10 snapshots.
Today’s smartphones have dual lenses and boast 12MP — a 40x bump in image quality. The convergence of cell phones and cameras revolutionized how the world takes pictures.
Throw in some video, texting, WiFi, Internet access, and Bluetooth connectivity. Then, add gigabytes and terabytes of onboard memory — for holding all those gaming apps — and most of us walk around with tech marvels in our pockets.
Perhaps one of the strongest showings of tech convergence is video games and AI. Whether playing on smartphones, consoles, or PCs, modern gamers are very familiar with AI.
In a simplified context, AI powers enemy hordes and end-level bosses. Seeing a game’s credits rolling across your screen means you outwitted escalating levels of challenges against AI.
Today, we’ll have a look at two examples of how human-created intelligence bested human-made games. Before we go digital, let’s revisit the time AI crossed over into board games — while leaving a stunned world champ hanging his head.
AI Goes Deep
Apparently, there’s a practice of adding “Deep” to the title of AI software that outperforms humans at the top of their game. First up is from world-renowned IBM.
Here’s how the outfit’s entry into gaming AI played out:
1989 — Chess Master Challenge
At age 22, Garry Kasparov became the youngest chess champion of all time. And he later proved his mettle when telling IBM’s AI engineers to hit the lab for further testing. Yes, the software was good. But not that good. Yet.
In 1989, Garry Kasparov sent IBM’s AI-empowered “Deep Thought” chess computer crying to its motherboard.
But the AI team knew they could do better. And this wasn’t the last time IBM gave Garry a chance to flex his mastery over programmable chess.
1996 — Rematch
So, a whopping seven years later, IBM releases “Deep Blue” in hopes of besting Kasparov.
But things didn’t play out according to IBM’s plan. We have no audio to share, but Garry probably had this to say about the match:
“Good game, IBM. Bring your ‘A’ computer next time, okay guys?”
Now, you may already know this, but the very next year, AI had another shot at redemption.
1997 — Revenge
The AI community was abuzz with excitement as the latest iteration of “Deep Blue” faced the champ in another rematch.
But the match’s sole human didn’t fare so well this time around.
Humans invented chess in the year 600. Some 1,400 trips around the sun later, we programmed machines to beat us at our own game.
And now that we’re 20+ years from that long-gone era, AI has progressed by orders of magnitude.
Modern Gaming Prowess
For many reasons, gaming is one of the best AI-training environments. People inherently love games, and AI greatly benefits from evaluating human logic. Win-win!
But in January of 2019, the video games industry witnessed AI crush one of its premier players. In the video below, pro StarCraft II player, Dario Wünsch (gaming handle LTO), squares off against a program from DeepMind — AlphaStar.
The outcome? Five matches to nill. The world-class esports athlete scored zero. Zilch. Nada. Big fat goose egg.
Now, this video — boasting 1.5M views — is over two hours long. Like traditional sporting competitions, announcers enhance the esports audience’s experience.
But should you prefer to skip all the chin-wagging, these shortcuts point to the most entertaining matches:
Game 1: 14:40
Game 3: 28:58
You can virtually feel the exhilaration of everyone representing DeepMind. Although humans may give their absolute best efforts, they continue to fail against gaming supercomputers.
At this point, AI vs. people is almost like watching Usain Bolt race a cheetah. Yeah, he’s arguably the fastest man alive. But there’s no way he’s beating the world’s fastest land mammal.
The RedFOX Connections
So, what does all this talk of AI and games have to do with us? The answer is twofold: KOGS and cashback rewards.
For starters, we’re inching closer to the release of the world’s first mobile app to calculate all of its game logic on a blockchain in real-time.
Here’s the official alpha gameplay trailer of our creation — powered by non-fungible tokens. As you watch, keep in mind that the in-game NFTs were transacting live on our chain:
But our gaming efforts don’t stop with an NFT-powered app. Another of our latest endeavors employs gamification to maintain steady user engagement…
Cashback and Rewards Ecommerce Portal
Digital inclusion is a vital ingredient of our business philosophy. As such, one of the apps currently in development caters to local markets here in Southeast Asia. While online activities expand, the region’s residents still lack access to the modern-day solutions we’re creating.
Slated for Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Philippines, our cashback shopping app acts as a springboard for netizens of developing nations to join the digital economy. In addition, we’re striving to partner with merchants utilizing livestreaming — a surging category of commerce amid global quarantines.
And, naturally, we’re adding AI to simplify onboarding while personalizing in-app interactions.
Artificially intelligent creatures and players are now standard within video games. In other words, AI is familiar and expected. But we’re folding AI and game elements into a non-gaming app. One could say we’re taking the opposite approach of the ‘Deep’ organizations and products mentioned earlier.
We’re not attempting to program AI that frustrates and overpowers human gamers. Instead, we’re out to create likable AI. In partnership with industry experts — per our business model — our AI software acts as a personal concierge to hold customers by the hand while leading them through our smartphone apps.
So, is AI going to rise up and beat us at a game of KOGS? Assuming we properly educate our AI, the answer is yes. Because if the history of AI training has anything to teach us, it’s that no matter what game we instruct computers to play, humans are eventually overtaken by code.
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