Artificial intelligence bests humans at classic arcade games

The dream of an artificially intelligent computer that can study a problem and gain expertise all on its own is now reality. A system debuted today by a team of Google researchers is not clever enough to perform surgery or drive a car safely, but it did master several dozen classic arcade games, in many cases surpassing the best human players without ever observing how they play. “The results are impressive,” says Tomaso Poggio, director of the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.