Project Malmo: Using Minecraft to build more intelligent technology - Next at Microsoft

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Editor's note, April 1, 2016: This project was formerly known as Project AIX and has now been renamed Project Malmo. In the airy, loft-like Microsoft Research lab in New York City, five computer scientists are spending their days trying to get a Minecraft character to climb a hill. That may seem like a pretty simple job for some of the brightest minds in the field, until you consider this: The team is trying to train an artificial intelligence agent to learn how to do things like climb to the highest point in the virtual world, using the same types of resources a human has when she learns a new task. That means that the agent 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.


Project AIX: Using Minecraft to build more intelligent technology - Next at Microsoft

#artificialintelligence

In the airy, loft-like Microsoft Research lab in New York City, five computer scientists are spending their days trying to get a Minecraft character to climb a hill. That may seem like a pretty simple job for some of the brightest minds in the field, until you consider this: The team is trying to train an artificial intelligence agent to learn how to do things like climb to the highest point in the virtual world, using the same types of resources a human has when she learns a new task. That means that the agent 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.


Microsoft sees Minecraft as AI proving ground

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The blocky look of Minecraft creations doesn't seem to bother these fellows. The popular construction game Minecraft is due to become a testbed for artificial intelligence software designed by startups and scientists alike. Minecraft, a game based on the notion of building blocks, is played by millions of people on consoles, PCs and phones. Developed by Stockholm-based Mojang, the game was snapped up by Microsoft in September 2014 for $2.5 billion, followed by the Redmond, Washington, software giant's acquisition of Teacher Gaming's MinecraftEdu line of teaching tools in January of this year. The game has now gone far beyond its roots as a simple building game, and through mods and additional development can also be used as a tool to instruct students on topics including conservation and resource management.


Microsoft Using Open Source Minecraft To Develop Artificial Intelligence

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Microsoft is using the video game Minecraft to help develop artificial intelligence (AI) which can complete complex tasks, and is opening up the research to the general computing public, according to a Monday announcement. Minecraft has been used by the tech company and several academic computer scientists to help develop sophisticated general artificial intelligence, or AI, which can do things like learn, hold conversations, make decisions and complete complex tasks. Microsoft has opened up the project to the general computing public via an open-source license. "Minecraft is very close to the real world in many ways," Jose Hernandez-Orallo, who is a professor at the Technical University of Valencia and has used the system to work on AI, wrote in a press statement. "There are so many possibilities."


Minecraft to run artificial intelligence experiments - BBC News

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Minecraft is to become a testing ground for artificial intelligence experiments. Microsoft, owner of the popular video game, revealed that computer scientists and amateurs will be able to evaluate and develop AI software using its virtual landscapes from July. The company says Minecraft is more "sophisticated" than existing AI research simulations and cheaper to use than building a robot. "This is the state-of-the-art," said Prof Jose Hernandez-Orallo from the Technical University of Valencia, one of a small group of academics given early access to the software. "At this moment there is nothing comparable, and this is just in its beginnings, so I see many possibilities for it."