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An Artificial Intelligence backed by Microsoft has just done the impossible. The AI has managed to beat Ms. Pac-Man. If you have played the game for yourself, I don’t need to remind you of how badly you lost. This is indeed, the first time ever that a human or an AI has managed to best the notoriously difficult game.

Maluuba, which was acquired by Microsoft and is a subsidiary of the latter since January, managed to leverage AI in a way that enabled it to beat MS Pac-Man. The game clearly shows the meter reaching  999,990 and then finally, 1,000,000 all outlined in red. And then it flips back to zero accompanied by the game restarting. Technically speaking, there should have been fanfares, and proclamations declaring that the impossible game known as MS Pac-Man has finally been bested but, there was none of that.

All that happened was that the game restarted. Nevertheless, this is a historic moment for AI considering that this s the first time in the 3 decades or so, of the history of the game, that someone (human or otherwise) had managed to best it. This was because there were simply too many variables on the board. Maluuba solved the problem by deploying as many as 150 AI agents working in tandem to win the game. So there were agents for each of the fruits, for each of the ghosts and again, for each of the edible ghosts.

Speaking with the TechCrunch, Maluuba program manager Rahul Mehrotra said:

When we decomposed the game, there were over 150 agents working on different problems.

As per CTO Kaheer Suleman, the process wasn’t particularly different from how humans decide stuff.

This idea of breaking things down into smaller problems is the basis of how humans solve problems. A company doing product development is a good example. The goal of the whole organization is to develop a product, but individually, there are groups that have their own reward and goal for the process.

And there is hope that the same process could be deployed within human processes as well. It won’t be easy but if MS Pac-Man can be beaten, well, humanity’s problems will be a breeze.

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