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TensorFlow lends a hand to build a rock-paper-scissors machine

Building a rock-paper-scissors machine with TensorFlow:

  • Editor’s note: It’s hard to think of a more “analog” game than rock-paper-scissors.
  • But this summer, one Googler decided to use TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine learning system, to build a machine that could play rock-paper-scissors.
  • For more technical details and source code, see the original post on the Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Blog.This summer, my 12-year-old son and I were looking for a science project to do together.
  • After exploring several ideas, we decided to build a rock-paper-scissors machine that detects a hand gesture, then selects the appropriate pose to respond: rock, paper, or scissors.

This summer, one Googler and his son decided to build a machine that could play rock-paper-scissors. The twist? They used machine learning to do it.

Editor’s note: It’s hard to think of a more “analog” game than rock-paper-scissors. But this summer, one Googler decided to use TensorFlow, Google’s open source machine learning system, to build a machine that could play rock-paper-scissors. For more technical details and source code, see the original post on the Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Blog.

This summer, my 12-year-old son and I were looking for a science project to do together. He’s interested in CS and has studied programming with Scratch, so we knew we wanted to do something involving coding. After exploring several ideas, we decided to build a rock-paper-scissors machine that detects a hand gesture, then selects the appropriate pose to respond: rock, paper, or scissors.

The next step was to determine which combination of three numbers represents rock, paper or scissors. We wanted to do it in a way that could be flexible over time—for example if we wanted to capture more than three hand positions with many more sensors. So we created a linear model—a simple algebraic formula that many of you might have learned in high school or college—and used machine learning in TensorFlow to solve the formula based on the given sensor data and the expected results (rock, paper or scissors). What’s cool about this is that it’s like automated programming—we specify the input and output, and the computer generates the most important transformation in the middle.

TensorFlow lends a hand to build a rock-paper-scissors machine

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