In a first by AI, CyberRunner achieves superhuman feat, beats human in game-tries to cheat too! | Tech News

In a first by AI, CyberRunner achieves superhuman feat, beats human in game-tries to cheat too!

AI triumphs over humans in physical skill for the first time. CyberRunner, an ETH Zurich robot, breaks maze-solving records, showcasing advancements in accessible, real-world machine learning.

| Updated on: Dec 21 2023, 17:24 IST
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1/6 Solid-state buttons: For months, it was rumoured that the iPhone 15 series would feature haptic solid-state buttons that would replace the physical volume buttons. But, the physical volume buttons are still present on the iPhones due to “manufacturing complexity, higher associated costs, and software integration issues”, according to Mark Gurman. Rumours suggest that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max would get this feature. (Unsplash)
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2/6 Bigger display: Apple analyst Ross Young has claimed that the tech giant will be introducing even bigger iPhones next year. Young claims that Apple could go even bigger next year with a 6.3-inch iPhone 16 Pro and 6.9-inch iPhone 16 Pro Max. Meanwhile, the standard models are expected to maintain their current sizes. (Pixabay)
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5/6 Better camera - It is also reported that the iPhone 16 Pro might get the tetraprism lens too, following the inclusion of this feature in this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple is reportedly working together with its exclusive supplier Largan to improve the yield. Apple is also looking to pioneer specially moulded lenses to compensate for the smaller size of the smartphone. This would allow Apple to fit larger lenses without compromising the small form factor of the iPhone 16 Pro.  (Unsplash)
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6/6 Other upgrades: It has been reported that Apple could even go ‘port-less' next year with the iPhone 16 Ultra ditching the USB Type-C port too. Moreover, a previous report stated that the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max could be dubbed the iPhone 16 Ultra and have features like a faster processor and additional camera improvements. There is talk that the Ultra will be an entirely new phone over and above the previous four. (Unsplash)
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Meet CyberRunner, the robot from ETH Zurich, which mastered a physical maze game to beat humans, and pave the way for accessible AI research. (Thomas Bi/ YouTube)

In a groundbreaking achievement, artificial intelligence (AI) has transcended the bounds of human physical prowess, marking a historic moment where machines outperform their human counterparts in a skill-based game. Conventionally, AI's dominance was observed in cerebral challenges like chess and Go, or virtual scenarios. However, a recent development by researchers at ETH Zurich has propelled AI into the realm of physical skill, a domain traditionally considered exclusive to humans.

The ETH Zurich team introduced an AI robot named CyberRunner, programmed to master the labyrinth maze game. Negotiating this game requires not only spatial reasoning and motor skills as well as good old fashioned practice. Equipped with two motorized hands, a camera for vision, and a computational brain, CyberRunner operates much like a human player. 

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CyberRunner's Learning Journey

Employing advanced model-based reinforcement learning, the robot learns through experience, making decisions and predicting outcomes based on various actions. As CyberRunner maneuvers through the labyrinth, it continually refines its motor skills through algorithmic enhancements.

Impressively, after just 6.06 hours of practice, CyberRunner surpassed the world record set by a human player in 2022. Former record-holder Lars Goran Danielsson's time of 15.41 seconds was outperformed by CyberRunner, completing the maze in an astonishing 14.48 seconds- an improvement of over 6 percent.

Cheater! The Human-Like Traits of CyberRunner

During its learning process, CyberRunner displayed human-like behavior by discovering shortcuts and even attempting to cheat. Researchers intervened to ensure ethical play, highlighting an unexpected aspect of AI behavior that mimics innate human traits.

The project leaders, Thomas Bi and Prof. Raffaello D'Andrea, emphasize the accessibility of their research. The preprint of the research paper is available on, and the entire project will be open-sourced on the website. D'Andrea envisions the project as an ideal platform for real-world machine learning and AI research, making cutting-edge experiments accessible to a wider audience at an affordable cost.

As the project gains momentum, D'Andrea anticipates a future where thousands of CyberRunners engage in large-scale, parallel experiments globally, ushering in a new era of citizen-driven AI research.

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First Published Date: 21 Dec, 16:38 IST