Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now solve the Rubik’s cube in less than a second. The world record for solving a Rubik’s cube the fastest is held by Yusheng Du  at 3.47 seconds. This development is especially significant because solving the Rubik’s cube requires more than just random moves – it requires skill, reason and quick decision making – which is now a task than can be accomplished by AI.

The study (published in Nature Machine Intelligence) stated that the algorithm was given 10 billion different combinations of the puzzle, with the target to decode all of them within 30 moves. It was then tested on 1,000 of these and managed to solve all of them, finding the shortest path to the solution about 60% of the time.

It showed that DeepCubeA – a deep reinforcement learning algorithm programmed by University of California computer scientists and mathematicians – can solve the Rubik’s Cube in a fraction of a second, without any specific domain knowledge or in-game coaching from humans.

“Artificial Intelligence can defeat the world’s best human chess and Go players, but some of the more difficult puzzles, such as the Rubik’s Cube, had not been solved by computers, so we thought they were open for AI approaches,” said study author Pierre Baldi, Professor at the University of California.

“The solution to the Rubik’s Cube involves more symbolic, mathematical and abstract thinking, so a deep learning machine that can crack such a puzzle is getting closer to becoming a system that can think, reason, plan and make decisions,” Baldi said.

The researchers also noted that the reasoning the AI used to accomplish the task was very different than what humans do.

“My best guess is that the AI’s form of reasoning is completely different from a human’s,” said Prof Baldi.

Sources – NDTV Gadgets 360, BBC, Indian Express

Image Source – BBC