Quantum Moves results
Since it's release, Quantum Moves has been played over 8 million times by around 200,000 players around the world with impressive results. Humans excel at finding fast solutions to the challenges posed in the Quantum Moves game. This is exactly the task where computer algorithms struggle, meaning that scientists soon had on their hands solutions that did not exist before, and compelling evidence that perfect solutions could be found even with very stringent time limits.
It turned out that humans were able to find decent solutions when the time was limited, but these solutions were not perfect. However, this is better than computer algorithms who stubbornly search for perfect solutions and fail altogether when these are not easy to find. Combining the agility of humans and the perfectionism of computer algorithms lead to a human-computer hybrid scheme, and to solutions that were fast and polished to perfection.
Taking the idea of human-computer collaboration further, the scientists sat down and analysed the solutions provided by the hundreds of people playing Quantum Moves. They took the main features of the successful human solutions and fed these into the original computer algorithms as a guideline and a good starting point for rigorous computer optimisation. Varying the human inspired "guideline" solutions and running the algorithm based on those, they found even faster perfect solutions.
A very clear picture emerged from the study of Quantum Moves - when humans and computers work together, they are vastly more powerful than either alone. Humans need not to be experts of the scientific field (and it's not unreasonable to think of physicists as living and breathing computers, running on endless cups of coffee). Rather, it can actually be beneficial to introduce the science problems to laymen who have a novel perspective on the problem!
To read more about the result of this project, find the scientific publication here.
After analysing player results, scientists become so intrigued by the power of the human mind that they tweaked the Quantum Moves challenge to a new game. Quantum Minds aims to answer the questions of how humans learn to outsmart computer algorithms. Play it here to see how well you do and to give us more data to analyse!