Chess-playing robot breaks the finger of 7-y-o competitor

(CMR) A chess-playing robot broke the finger of a 7-year-old boy who was competing against it during a recent tournament in Moscow.

The incident reportedly happened after the boy hurried the artificial intelligence-powered robot, the president of the Moscow Chess Federation, Sergey Lazarev, said.

The robot reached for and grabbed one of the boy’s chess pieces, and quickly discarded it from the board. The robot’s arm retracted, and the boy attempted to make another move, pushing one of his rooks into the same place as the recently removed piece.

The robot’s mechanical claws then descended back toward the board, this time grabbing the boy’s index finger instead of a chess piece. It held the finger in place for at least 15 seconds before two bystanders were able to pry open the claws and release the boy.

The child reportedly continued playing after his finger was placed in a cast. Russia has reportedly been using chess AI for several years.

According to CNBC, this incident may serve as a case study for the dangers involved in Maia Chess. Maia Chess is an ongoing project by researchers at the University of Toronto, Microsoft Research and Cornell University seeking to use chess as a case study for how to use AI to help humans improve skills.

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Renae Stampp

Renae Stampp

A regional writer with almost 10 years of experience working in various news media including two major media houses in Bermuda and Jamaica. Renae provides professional content for our regional and international audience.

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