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Man — er, teenager — beats machine

A Tetris cartridge and controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

A Tetris cartridge and controller for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect
The AI boom has brought never-ending debate about the limits of human ability. What does it mean to be human? What kinds of tasks are uniquely within our purview and not replicable by machines? Well, on one front in the human vs. machine battle, someone finally beat Tetris – and yes, it was a teenager.

Some 39 years after the release of the landmark Nintendo game in North America, 13-year-old Willis Gibson became the first person to beat the game, taking it to a kill screen, where the game stops functioning. It was long assumed that a human couldn’t take Tetris past 290 lines, but Gibson cleared 1,511 lines of the game in 40 minutes, and he caught it all on video.

Gibson, aka BlueScuti online, recently met the game’s creator, Alexey Pajitnov, and continues to play in Tetris tournaments.

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