SUMMARY: Tom Clarke of Independent Television News reports on how an artificial intelligence business owned by Google has created software that can teaching itself to play classic Atari games better than a human.
GWEN IFILL (NewsHour): Next, Playing video games might seem like child’s play.
But, as Tom Clarke of Independent Television News reports, it’s also at the frontier of artificial intelligence.
TOM CLARKE, Independent Television News: It was the late 1970s, and for the first generation of video gamers, Atari was king. By the standards of the day, the graphics were mind-blowing, the sound out of this world.
And the selection of games just went on and on and on.
Compared to the video games of today, Atari looks pretty clunky, but the games are still quite difficult to play, especially if you haven’t picked one up for 30 years, like me. But it’s that exact combination of simple graphics, but quite challenging game play, that has attracted the cutting edge of artificial intelligence researchers back to the 1970s.
This version of “Space Invaders” isn’t being played by a person, but a system of computer algorithms that is learning how to play it just by looking at the pixels on the screen. It may not sound like it, but it’s something of a breakthrough, the work of one of the finest young minds in A.I. research, North Londoner Demis Hassabis.