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. Now, another old idea--improving neural networks not through teaching, but through evolution--is revealing its potential. 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.