IBM has finally solved the problem Atari engineers have pondered for years – can a computer truly beat a human in Pong? Crazy though it may seem, IBM has done it at long last. The company has created a series of 3-mm wide cognitive computer chips, the components of which are designed to emulate neurons and synapses even more than previous computer chips were meant to emulate neurons and synapses. And the proof is in the grey matter pudding, as $20 million in research later, IBM has achieved intelligent Pong AI, that holy grail of computing for lo these past 40 years.
As EE Times reports: IBM envisions its cognitive computers solving a wide variety of applications in navigation, machine vision, pattern recognition, associative memory and classification. So far it has taught one to recognize a cursive letter “7” regardless of in whose handwriting. The other has learned to play (and win against humans) at the game “Pong.”
Success! And IBM is getting a new round of funding from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) to the tune of $21 million, presumably to enable the chips to learn to play (and win) at Windjammers.
Update! Years ago, IBM created a freeware Pong clone, and released it on the internet. Was it training us to become better at Pong so that its computers could later best us!? Were we the unwitting beta testers? Has this been in the works since 2006-ish!? Any other conclusion is impossible! Play it after the jump! (because otherwise it would autoload and make annoying sounds)