Artificial intelligence solves a Rubik’s Cube in under a second

How quickly can AI solve a Rubik’s Cube?


This week, the University of California Irvine announced that an artificially intelligent system solved the puzzle in just over a second, besting the current human world record by more than two seconds.

That system, known as DeepCubeA — a reinforcement learning algorithm programmed by UCI computer scientists and mathematicians — solved the puzzle on its own, without any prior knowledge of the game or coaching from its human handlers, according to the university.

Highly skilled humans are able to tackle a Rubik’s Cube in about 50 moves, but the AI system is able to solve the cube in about 20 moves, usually in the minimum number of steps possible, researcher said.

The algorithm was merely programmed to solve the puzzle, leaving researchers with a limited understanding of how it did so. To perfect its abilities, DeepCube trained in isolation for two days, refining its skill as it unpacked the Rubik’s Cube.

Rubik’s Cube. Washington Post photo by Bill O’Leary (b / The Washington Post)