Artificial intelligence can 'evolve' to solve problems

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Many great ideas in artificial intelligence languish in textbooks for decades because we don't have the computational power to apply them. That's what happened with neural networks, a technique inspired by our brains' wiring that has recently succeeded in translating languages and driving cars. Five new papers from Uber in San Francisco, California, demonstrate the power of so-called neuroevolution to play video games, solve mazes, and even make a simulated robot walk. Neuroevolution, a process of mutating and selecting the best neural networks, has previously led to networks that can compose music, control robots, and play the video game Super Mario World. But these were mostly simple neural nets that performed relatively easy tasks or relied on programming tricks to simplify the problems they were trying to solve.