Humanity’s flaws exposed again as AI is first to perfect Ms. Pac-Man

One of the Holy Grails of gaming records has fallen, but unfortunately you won’t see a human being’s name in the record books.

Instead, a Microsoft-owned AI team has achieved a perfect score of 999,990 on the arcade classic Ms. Pac-Man. The previous high was believed to be 921,360, set by New Yorker Abdner Ashman way back in 2005.

However, before you go welcoming our robot overlords, the deep learning experts at Maluuba needed to delegate tasks to over 150 AI agents in order to reach perfection.

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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.

In a blog post Microsoft wrote: “For example, some agents got rewarded for successfully finding one specific pellet, while others were tasked with staying out of the way of ghosts.

Then, the researchers created a top agent – sort of like a senior manager at a company – who took suggestions from all the agents and used them to decide where to move Ms. Pac-Man.

“The top agent took into account how many agents advocated for going in a certain direction, but it also looked at the intensity with which they wanted to make that move. 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.”

This is all very well and good, but we’re content to know that it took so many agents to beat the record.

Come back to us when one of you has completed Dark Souls… at 5am… on a Tuesday and have to go into the office in three hours, yeah?


What do you think you and 149 mates could achieve if you pooled your brainpower for the sake of gaming greatness? Share your thoughts in the comments below.