Humans may have better pattern-recognition skills than machines, as proved by a recent competition.

In what can be described as evidence of superior pattern-recognition skills in humans over computers, a groups of gamers outperformed a special software in a complex protein folding video game. The game, called Foldit, pitted players against computers in a series of protein-folding puzzles to understand if non-scientists can contribute to developing new algorithms to solve the challenge of protein folding.

NY Times reports on the game:

Foldit begins with a series of tutorials in which the player controls proteinlike structures on a computer display. In the game, as structures are modified, a score is calculated based on how well the protein is folded. Players are given a set of controls that let them do things like “shake,” “wiggle” and “rebuild” to reshape the backbone and the amino acid side shapes of a specific protein into a more efficient structure.

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