Rock paper scissors AI

Rock paper scissors enters the world of AI gaming. The game learns and adapts to human players’ patterns. By strategically breaking or creating false patterns, players can gain an edge. But beware, the machine learns quickly, requiring players to constantly adjust their strategies to stay ahead.
two robots playing rock paper scissors

The game of Rock paper scissors is simple, with simple rules and a straightforward mechanic played between human players. The mechanics are; the players choose one of the three forms they can do with their hands. Rock, made with a closed fist; paper made with a straight palm or hand and scissors, made with middle and index fingers in an angle forming a “V” or the blades of the scissor. Hence the name “rock paper scissors.” 

The game of rock paper scissors originated in China, then reached Japan and transformed into its modern version that is widely known today and spread out into the world. Rock paper scissors is a game that human players play against other human players, usually 1 vs. 1. Still, like every human-related matter nowadays, artificial intelligence also interfered with this basic game. With the emergence of artificial intelligence, human players can now play the game of rock paper scissors against AI.

Rock paper scissors AI is as simple as its analog version. Rock paper scissors AI game usually features a simple interface where the user picks one of the three options, and the AI opponent reveals its choice almost instantaneously, revealing the result of the round. The rock paper scissors AI game has three possible outcomes: win, lose, or draw, just like the version in real life.

Rock paper scissors AI has a straightforward, easy-to-understand mechanic. It’s effortless to learn and has simple rules; therefore, it can be considered a hyper-casual game. The name rock paper scissors AI also implies that the human player plays against an artificial intelligence opponent, yet that is not precisely the case. The term artificial intelligence is usually misunderstood or misused. Rock paper scissors AI depends on machine learning rather than artificial intelligence. Since the game and its mechanics are so simple, there is no need for an advanced technology like artificial intelligence to be involved. Machine learning is more than adequate to rival and even beat human players in such a game. 

Statistically, the probability of winning in a rock paper scissors game is one in three or 33.3%. But humans don’t behave according to the statistics all the time. For instance, players choose rock and scissors slightly more than paper. While human players choose rock and scissors 35% of the time, they select paper in 29.6% of the games.

This reveals that some things other than pure statistics are involved when playing rock paper scissors AI. Those other things are the people’s unconscious tendency to choose one gesture more over others and the patterns emerging from their choices. That is where machine learning comes into play while playing rock paper scissors AI. The game uses machine learning, not AI, to find out and learn a player’s choice patterns and beat them. Therefore the longer you play rock paper scissors AI, the more artificial intelligence or the “learning machine” will be able to beat you. It’s just like Napoleon Bonaparte said: “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.” Numerous websites offer an online rock-paper-scissors AI game for a human player against AI. 

How to beat rock paper scissors AI?

As previously mentioned, rock paper scissors AI games utilize machine learning, in other words, the player’s choice patterns. Simply put, if you create false patterns or deliberately break them, your chances of winning increase.

We have tried to achieve this with one of the free rock-paper-scissors AI games, and as can be seen in the below image, it seems to work. 

user interface of a rock paper scissors ai game.

We started with a random choice and then started to choose the last option that the AI had chosen in the previous round. When you do this, the artificial intelligence recognizes this as a pattern and then chooses the option that will be able to beat its last choice and beat you. When it starts doing this, switch to a random choice, try choosing the one that will beat your previous choice, or aim for a deliberate draw. Then you can start the pattern again.

We tried this method on multiple games with one of the rock paper scissors AI games and were on a winning streak until the machine recognized that pattern too. At that point, it’s time to restart the game or stop teaching the machine your art of war. 

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