Microsoft is allowing scientists to create, test, and run their AI programs within the world of Minecraft BBC is reporting. Using a special program called AIX, users will be able to upload their AI into a character and have it experience and learn within the world of the game. While video games and AI collaborating have been done before, creator Matthew Johnson says this will allow for the first time AI can be "embodied"...
"So, rather than have a situation where the AI sees an avatar of itself, it can actually be inside, looking out through the eyes of something that is living in the world...We think this is an essential part of building this kind of general intelligence."
So why Minecraft? Scientists say the games open ended gameplay will allow for AI to learn elements of survival, much more complex interaction, and eventually able to interact in an indistinguishable way with human players!
It sounds dumb...but imagine the complexity an AI needs to operate within Minecraft. You could tell it to go chop down a tree, and that may work until a zombie attacks and they die because they don't know how to defend...or they walk into lava...or they fall in a giant chasm...stuff like that.
In a way they are creating a human entity to learn and exist within the world of Minecraft...which sounds like playing God...and it kind of is.
Right now the testing is closed to the public to prevent players from interrupting the learning process. Leading experts say we're still about a decade out of constant testing until this technology will really begin to show results...but rest assured this tech will be pivotal to creating the AI of tomorrow!