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Microsoft Using Minecraft To Train AI

If you never thought the agent of the apocalypse would be Minecraft, then you should have listened to your grandparents who have been saying it all along. Microsoft is currently running experiments with artificial intelligence to see if it can learn and adapt through playing Minecraft.

Called Project AIX, the plan is to turn on an AI program and get it to figure out how to climb a hill in the popular game, all by itself. Since Minecraft is an open-ended, do-whatever-you-want type of deal, it was perfect for AI training, they felt. “It’s a digital playpen for artificial intelligence,” said Fernando Diaz, senior researcher in the project. “It’s an environment in which we can develop an algorithm for teaching a young artificial intelligence to learn different concepts in the world.”

The agent [the AI] starts out knowing nothing at all about its environment or even what it is supposed to accomplish. It needs to understand its surroundings and figure out what’s important – going uphill – and what isn’t, such as whether it’s light or dark. It needs to endure a lot of trial and error, including regularly falling into rivers and lava pits. And it needs to understand – via incremental rewards – when it has achieved all or part of its goal.

Currently Project AIX is only available to qualified researchers, but once enough progress is made, it will be made available as open-source software. Read more about it here…

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