Microsoft uses Minecraft for artificial-intelligence research

Mar

15

2016

Microsoft has developed a platform for artificial intelligence called AIX, which enables researchers to search in Minecraft for ways to improve artificial intelligence. The intelligence learns, on the basis of his actions in the game.

“It’s a digital playpen for artificial intelligence,” says project collaborator Fernando Diaz, “It is an environment where we can develop an algorithm that can teach a young artificial intelligence about different concepts in the world.” That is, a learning system begins in the Minecraft world without knowing anything about it. Through much trial and error have a system to find out what is important and less important matters and by increasing rewards must understand when a specific goal is reached.

The project known as “Project AIX” and is made possible by the AIX platform, developed by researcher Katja Hofmann in the Microsoft lab in Cambridge. This software is from July opensource available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS, which need to purchase interested only the PC version of Minecraft to it to get started. AIX project is not designed for consumers, but the lead developer hopes that the many researchers and amateurs will attract. The goal was to develop a platform that supports Microsoft’s research, and is also useful for the rest of the research community.

Hofmann has one year ago Minecraft selected out of frustration with other platforms, using simple games. Minecraft offers just a lot of possibilities, from simple actions like walking to build complex machines. Through this open world game is therefore ideally suited for research into artificial intelligence. It is Microsoft to the development of a ‘general’ artificial intelligence which is not only good in the execution of a limited number of tasks, but which teaches just as a child, on the basis of a variety of different stimuli.

It would be possible to develop such a system by placing an artificial intelligence in a robot and to let perform these different tasks and thereby to initiate a learning process. However, this way is expensive and therefore a software platform is a good outcome for researchers.

In a recent series of races go-managed Google’s artificial intelligence AlphaGo to three times in a row to win the world champion Korean Lee Sedol. In addition, the system often took surprising decisions that later turned critical. Lee knew in the fourth game against AlphaGo win .

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