Nvidia AI creates a playable version of Pac-Man without any source code


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Up until now, that's seemingly been the case, but one Nvidia-created AI is challenging the norm. To celebrate Pac-Man's 40th anniversary, the hardware maker fed a computer farm a whopping 50,000 "episodes" of gameplay from the title -- but not to teach it to be a better player.

Instead, Nvidia taught its AI to recreate a playable version of Pac-Man within a matter of days. Impressively, it did so without being given a single line of the game's source code. It seems that, after watching all that gameplay, the AI was able to figure out not just how the game looks, but how it's supposed to function -- it determined what power-ups are, what movements are allowed in which areas, and how the antagonistic ghosts behave.

Obviously, the quality of the end result isn't perfect, and we certainly don't expect to see Nvidia's AI -- called GameGAN -- recreate the likes of the Witcher 3 or Skyrim anytime soon, but it's fascinating to see what this technology is capable of.

"This is the first research to emulate a game engine using GAN-based neural networks," Nvidia researcher Seung-Wook Kim explains. "We wanted to see whether the AI could learn the rules of an environment just by looking at the screenplay of an agent moving through the game. And it did."

Researchers were particularly impressed that the AI accomplished this without access to a game engine, and they're excited to see what the feat's implications might be down the line. "This research presents exciting possibilities to help game developers accelerate the creative process of developing new level layouts, characters and even games," said Bandai Namco Research worker Koichiro Tsutsumi.

We look forward to seeing how far this AI will advance in the future. In the meantime, Nvidia plans to release this project to the public via its AI Playground webpage later this year, so stay tuned for that.

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Posts: 96   +39
It's done for investors. Very deep AI filters that used huge amount of calculate power to reproduce very simple visualization. There is no progress to Terminator so nothing to worry about. People are marveling until they know how it works.

Axle Grease

Posts: 144   +57
Intriguing. So the AI create its own Pac-Man code based on what it has observed and the product of that code is what we are seeing, or are we watching the AI visualizing the game in accordance with what it has observed?
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Uncle Al

Posts: 6,950   +5,231
I got a great pair of boxer shorts that look like that .... but I never wore them because I was afraid they would start moving around and gobble up everything in sight!!!