High-speed computer vision system beats you at Rock, Paper, Scissors every time

Researchers at UTokyo's Ishikawa Oku Lab have created an unbeatable Rock-Paper-Scissors robot that uses a computer vision system to analyze opponents' hand-shapes for precursors to their final move and form a winning response in a split second, so quickly that to the human eye, it appears that the robot has responded simultaneously:

It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it's more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time. You might be thinking that you could fool the system by changing your mind halfway through, but my guess is that the hand and vision system are faster than your reflexes could ever be, and that it would be trivial for the robot to adapt to any creative moves that happens on the human end.

Robot Hand Beats You at Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% Of The Time (via /.)


  1. Apparently the reason it did so well in its training for this game was because it was threatened with a lifetime of cleanup duty at Fukushima if it failed.

  2. That was darn fast but you could definitely tell a few times that the machine selected after the human had thrown. Even before they slowed the footage down. 

    The general moral of the story being, in the future don’t let a round of RPS decide anything between you and an AI because they will cheat :)

  3. Rock paper scissors is played by choosing the item at the same time, this is choosing the item after the other player. Therefore humans win by default since it is cheating.

    1. Fair point.  Maybe the next thing they’ll make is a champion Go-playing robot that rearranges the stones whenever you’re not looking.

  4. Is this a secondary Turing test? The ability to cheat successfully is evidence of nefarious intent, and intent is somehow related to intelligence?
    Sorry Ishikawa Oku Lab, my father, Listener 42, told me that cheaters never prosper.

  5. The problem is it’s not conscious of its cheating, but rather is just doing what is what programmed to do. therefore there is no real nefarious intent.  If, by design, it could win at RPS without having the delay and STILL chose to cheat, THEN you’d have something.

  6. when you play robots(or amps) make sure you play under a cloth, then pull off the cloth(in a direction obscuring the robots view so you see before they do)

  7. Listen, and understand.  That terminator is out there.  It can’t be bargained with.  It can’t be reasoned with.  It can’t lose at roshambo . . .

  8. Prediction: It will win until it plays a Wookie, at which point it will either be defeated, or lose a couple of arms…

  9. a computer game that cheats ~ what a high minded use of new computer power ~ to frack over human contenders

  10. First chess; now this!  How is this thing at guessing your PIN by analysing your forearm movements as you punch it in?

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