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Microsoft AI just broke the Ms. Pac-Man world record

Richard Drew / AP

An AI program designed by the Microsoft-acquired Maluuba has achieved the first perfect score of 999,900 on the Atari 2600 version of Ms. Pac-Man, per The Verge.

In 35 years, the best score achieved by a human is 266,330.

The method: The AI breaks up different portions of the game — like collecting pellets or avoiding ghosts — into 163 smaller chunks, assigning each task to an "agent." Each agent then submits its recommendation to a "senior manager," which makes the ultimate decision on how to move in the game. For example, the senior manager will always choose to avoid a ghost over collecting additional pellets.

The applications: Microsoft says this strategy of aggregating small-scale recommendations to achieve a large-scale goal can be applied to natural language processing or helping a company sift through sales leads.