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AI's Are Being Trained Through Minecraft

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Minecraft is huge. Not only is it an open world sandbox that appeals to all ages, with actual books on it stocking library shelves and hundreds of thousands of personal and public servers, but it now is being utilized to train real time AI's. 






We all heard the news that Microsoft bought Minecraft (along with Mojang) back in 2014, but now they've formed a team of five computer scientists known as Project AIX to train an AI to learn how to adapt to a changing world. Because Minecraft is an eternally generating world, this is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Project AIX is attempting to develop an AI that can learn a new task just like a human. The difference between putting this AI into the game versus NPCs in other games is that it is not pre-programmed with the rules. It has to learn everything by itself. 


AIX was developed by Katja Hofmann (Platform Developer at Microsoft) and allows computer scientists to test and improve Artificial Intelligence. Some of the tasks that their AI Agent has to learn to navigate in Minecraft is regularly falling into lava and ravines and discovering how night/day and weather effects the terrain. The overall goal for the AI is to find the highest mountain possible and climb to the top. For those of you who don't play Minecraft, some of the more extreme mountains can look like this. 





“We’re trying to program it to learn, as opposed to programming it to accomplish specific tasks.”

Fernando Diaz (Senior Researcher)



This will be a huge step in how AI's are programmed and utilized in the future if Project AIX manages to develop artificial intelligence that can independently learn. This project alone may also work to reignite the public's interest in the game, which is now going on seven years since release- extremely old in the current Gamer's eyes. 












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