We know machines are getting "smarter," witness IBM's all-conquering Watson on Jeopardy. The New York Times is now offering users the chance to come face-to-face with a simple version of machine intelligence via a man vs. machine version of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
You can play this child's game in either novice or veteran modes. In novice the machine "learns to play from scratch." In the latter mode, the computer plays with 200,000 rounds of previous experience under its belt.
It's cute. Although neither I nor my colleague Eyder Peralta had any problems beating the computer. I played 22 rounds and managed a score of 8 wins, 10 ties and 3 losses. Eyder, as you can see above, was an even better 11-10-3 in 24 rounds.