For those of you who were kids back in the 1980s, I am quite sure that one of the icons of that era would be Nintendo’s NES – the Nintendo Entertainment System. Everyone had to have one, otherwise you would be the laughing stock of the street. Well, computers, being unfeeling entities, do not want to get as dull as Jack by working the whole day, which is why PhD computer science researcher Tom “Tom7” Murphy has come up with the Playfun program which has been described to be able to play NES games all by itself.
Hmm, does this mean the robo-apocalypse is upon us sooner rather than later? I do not think so quite yet, as you do not turn violent by jumping on baddies such as mushrooms with fangs and the ilk. However, Playfun approaches the “problem” of the game not by looking at what is on screen and making control decisions based from there, in essence, it just wants to solve the particular mathematical problem. Needless to say, Playfun plays with the cold methodical ruthlessness of a machine.