An artificial intelligence controlled chess robot snapped the finger of its seven-year-old opponent during a match in Russia last week.
The incident occurred at the Moscow Open tournament, while the chess-playing robot was involved in three simultaneous matches, one of them against a boy identified only as “Christopher,” who is one of the 30 best chess players “under 9-years-old.”
In a video recorded on July 19, the single-armed robot took a piece from Christopher, who swiftly responded with his next move, which triggered the AI to grab the child’s finger and clamp down. Christopher struggled to get away from the machine, and several adults stepped in to pry the mechanical hand off the boy’s finger.
Christopher was immediately taken to get medical treatment for his finger, which ended up being fractured. His parents are reportedly considering pressing charges over the robot assault.
There is no violence in chess, they said.
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Sergey Lazarev, the President of the Moscow Chess Federation, seemed to blame Christopher’s overzealous chess move for the attack. “The child made a move, and after that we need to give time for the robot to answer, but the boy hurried, the robot grabbed him,” he explained.
Lazarev was quick to note that the organization does not own or maintain the chess-bot. “The robot broke the child’s finger — this, of course, is bad. The robot was rented by us, it has been exhibited in many places, for a long time, with specialists. Apparently, the operators overlooked it,” he added. “We have nothing to do with the robot.”
“The robot operators, apparently, will have to think about strengthening protection so that this situation does not happen again,” Lazarev continued.
He did point out that Christopher was able to continue participating in the tournament. “The child played the very next day, finished the tournament in a cast, and the volunteers helped to record the moves,” he concluded.