For those of us worried about the overthrow of humans by robots and artificial technologies, what happened at the 2018 Winter Olympics yesterday should bring a much-needed sigh of relief (and laughter).
Eight teams competed in the first-ever Ski Robot Challenge held at the Welli Hilli resort in Hoenseong, about an hour from Pyeongchang. While not an official Olympics event, it was meant to highlight the possibilities of artificial intelligence in a way related to the Olympics.
But it turns out that these robots weren’t so good in the snow. Like, hilariously bad in it.
Apparently, the robots were not prepared to handle cold temperatures in South Korea -- kind of odd considering that’s an inherent factor in skiing.
According to The Verge, teams from “research universities, institutes and a private company competed for a $10,000 prize to see which robot could ski down the slopes and race to the finish line the fastest while avoiding obstacles.”
The robots had to fit the requirements of a humanoid robot, which means they had to stand on two legs and have joints like elbows and knees. They also had to be at least 50 centimeters (19.6 inches) tall.
The TaekwonV robot from the Minirobot Corp. team won the race by successfully navigating the five gates of the alpine course in 18 seconds.
But if we’ve learned anything from this, it’s that robots aren’t coming for skiers just yet.
Read more about the 2018 Winter Olympics from ASN