The history books are riddled with tales of man versus machine stories, with the most notable recent battle occurring between IBM's Watson supercomputer and a group of human players on Jeopardy. Now, another game pits humans against machines, but this time the contest is one that marries the art and physical science of golf.
Pro golfer Rory McIlroy was recently challenged to a game of accuracy by what the European Tour calls a Golf Laboratory Computer Controlled Hitting Machine. Filmed at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Florida, the spot is apparently part of a new promotion to drum up excitement for the golf tour featuring rising star McIlroy. Upon first meeting, the robot tells McIlroy that its name is Jeff, just before challenging him to the contest.
The organization doesn't provide much detail on the background of the robot, but its golf stroke accuracy is amazing. Based on the very funny jabs the robot takes at McIlroy throughout the contest, the robot's voice is almost certainly that of a human comedian in some remote location with a view of the golf course. But, given recent developments, it's not hard to imagine robots one day have this kind of dry wit during human interactions.
As for the physical part, McIlroy gets trounced, but he puts in a good showing for us lowly humans. You can check out the full contest in the video below.