back to article OK, smarty pants AI. You can beat us humans at video games. But how about real-world puzzles like Jenga? Oh, oh no

Here’s a robot you could take down the pub with you. It won’t bore you to death with politics and sport, nor add to your round, though it will kill time playing Jenga with you. Jenga needs no introduction, other than to say it requires dexterity and spatial awareness. Both of these things are pretty innate in humans but not so …

  1. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Harder Rules Needed

    Prodding around until it finds a 'loose' block is how you teach small children to play. Robots come with perfect coordination that makes removal & replacement easy.

    It's much harder learning to visualize the forces in play on any block with the 'Remove the first one you touch rule'

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Harder Rules Needed

      It also makes it more a game of chance because it insanely harder to figure out the compression forces with sight alone.

    2. Andy Mc

      Re: Harder Rules Needed

      Ah, but that's not in the original rules...

      No-one in my house would get away with leaving the top of the stack in that state though!

  2. jake Silver badge

    OK, I'll bite ...

    “In a cellphone assembly line, in almost every single step, the feeling of a snap-fit, or a threaded screw, is coming from force and touch rather than vision,”

    Only because that assembly line was built to be manned by humans. If the end product is designed to be assembled by robots, the fastening system is different. So what, exactly, use is a Jenga playing 'bot again? Besides spending grant money, of course ...

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: OK, I'll bite ...

      What use? It is a limited model to help research the issues of making a robot operate in the physical world. The same way games like Chess were used to study more abstract problem solving.

      For robots to be useful outside factories, they must be prepared to deal with objects and materials that were not specifically designed to be handled by them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: OK, I'll bite ...

        "model to help research the issues"

        Of course! So why waffle about assembly lines, which is bullshit?

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: OK, I'll bite ...

      > fastening system is different

      Not really, because there's only a small finite number of assembly systems.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: OK, I'll bite ...

        Yes, but when one puts together an assembly line, one tailors it to the method of assembly that will be used. Robotic assembly doesn't always use the same methodology that a human assembled part would use. Nor do the two always use the same fasteners. Thus my point.

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: OK, I'll bite ...

      Its here to steal the livelihoods of Jenga players, leaving them destitute in the streets.

      All part of the master plan to replace and eliminate meat people.

  3. ThatOne Silver badge

    Something has gone terribly wrong

    In the ads about the post year-2000 future I remember robots were to do the hard and boring work and leave us to have fun.

    How comes robots are built to have fun while we do the hard and boring work?...

  4. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

    Machine Jenga

    An alternate form of Machine Jenga

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Machine Jenga

      To be fair that's more "hydraulically aided" than "machine" as in "autonomous" in any sense... but yeah it does look pretty ferocious.

  5. arctic_haze Silver badge

    A source of hope

    No AI can beat us at eating pizza.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A source of hope

      My digester can eat all the pizza you can throw at it.

      With THAT said, I rather suspect no AI will ever be able to eat pizza, drink beer and yell at the officiating on a televised sporting event, all the while hitting on the MOTAS of it's choice ... something that any drop-out of an ex frat-boy can manage.

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