Microsoft will soon let computer scientists train AI systems in Minecraft

By Shawn Knight
Mar 14, 2016
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  1. Microsoft has revealed plans to open-source a platform that allows researchers and computer scientists to build and test artificial intelligence systems using the expansive world of Minecraft.

    Microsoft is certainly milking its $2.5 billion purchase of Minecraft creator Mojang for everything it's worth (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    The platform, dubbed AIX, was developed by Katja Hofmann and fellow colleagues at Microsoft's Cambridge, UK, lab. Hoffman coined the idea roughly a year ago partly because she was frustrated by the limitations that existing platforms imposed. In comparison, Minecraft offers a very open world that's limited only by your imagination.

    Microsoft said in a recent blog post that its own researchers have been using AIX since its inception. One of the tasks they've been working on is trying to get an in-game character to climb a hill. That seems like a simplistic goal until you consider they're trying to train the AI system to learn how to climb the hill without knowing anything about its environment.

    The system needs to learn quite a bit about its surroundings – what impact falling into a river or lava pit has, for example, or whether or not the time of day affects the task (it doesn't). It'll experience plenty of trial and error, events that would be costly in the real-world. By using incremental rewards, the system eventually learns the correct methods to utilize to achieve its goal.

    In addition to using it internally, Microsoft has made AIX available to a select group of academic researchers via private beta. Come this summer, the platform will be open to all by way of open-source license.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +463

    Wow, neat and neater things to do on Minecraft, if they can teach AI through Minecraft wow, just wow.
  3. JB Hickok

    JB Hickok Banned Posts: 29

    I played a bit of minecraft, the piece that is inside the Stanley Parable. That was too much minecrap for me. Maybe this will make use of useless software somehow.
  4. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +463

    Tell that to the active communities, developers and current players, or the gaming industry as it was before and after minecraft, anywho.
    H3llion likes this.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I see computer scientists are finally using computer graphics from the 90's. One day they may only be one decade behind.
  6. JB Hickok

    JB Hickok Banned Posts: 29

    Tell my opinion to all those people? To what end? Did they all ask my opinion? Tell ya what, I appoint you as my spokesman to those folks.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,408   +463

    One thing is you don't like it JB which is totally understandable, totally different thing is saying it's useless. This whole post clearly states that that is not true, whether you feel like it or don't. And the communities, and the developers, and current players, and the state of gaming industry before and after minecraft states clearly how not useless it is.

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