Game over, man.
A Microsoft-made artificial-intelligence system has achieved a perfect score of 999,990 points on the Atari 2600 version of the classic "Ms. Pac-Man"— making it very likely the first time anybody, human or robot, has "beaten" the game. Ever.
That notion is backed up by Highscore.com, a resource for tracking high scores in the still competitive classic-arcade-gaming scene. Per that site, the highest score ever recorded in this version of "Ms. Pac-Man" was 266,330, by a player in Brazil.
Here's a video of the Microsoft system's achievement, including footage of the game resetting when it hits that top score:
This achievement came out of Maluuba, an AI startup Microsoft snapped up in January. A representative explained that Maluuba chose to test the system with this version of "Ms. Pac-Man" because AI researchers have standardized using the Atari 2600 so they can directly compare research results and methods.
It's kind of funny, too, because Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella once quipped that where Google was building AI systems to win games like Go and "Starcraft II," Microsoft was building AI to get real work done.
Cut Maluuba some slack, though — Microsoft said the tech used to help its robots make split-second decisions in "Ms. Pac-Man" could also be used in, say, software to help salespeople determine the right leads to contact on any given day.