There was one more confirmation that Minecraft is not just a computer game, but also a powerful development tool. Microsoft already has plans to use the game, which the company bought for $2.5 billion, in the field of education and improvement of virtual reality technology. Now we can safely add to this list the development of artificial intelligence.
Recently, Microsoft announced a project that will allow all developers of artificial intelligence to advance greatly in their studies. AIX is a new development platform that will allow all developers to create "agents" - computer-controlled characters that roam the Minecraft world. The idea is to give them enough of the "intelligence" so they behaved like real players. This includes basic commands such as climb to a hill, and more complicated requirements like land navigation, building landscapes and the usual survival against the major opponents in the game - zombies.
The head of the project Katja Hofmann explains that the huge openness of Minecraft, and its creative potential, which provides great opportunities for the development of artificial intelligence. In fact greather than any other existing platform.
Minecraft is the perfect platform for this kind of research because it’s this very open world,” Hofmann said. “You can do survival mode, you can do ‘build battles’ with your friends, you can do courses, you can implement our own games. This is really exciting for artificial intelligence because it allows us to create games that stretch beyond current abilities.
AIX and Minecraft
are not only for the development of AI agents exist in the game. Hofmann states that their goal is to create a technology that can learn for itself. And Minecraft has all the necessary qualities to train artificial intelligence to work in the real world.
“Building a robot and trying to teach it to climb a real hill is costly and impractical; unlike in Minecraft, you’d have to repair or replace the robot with another costly machine each time it fell into a river," explains Microsoft in a blog post.
In addition, using Minecraft for such purposes, it is a great way to allow the greatest number of people to become participants in the development process. This is especially true for children, who love Minecraft, where they can learn and have fun at the same time. The developers promises that they are already planning to run the AI for MInecraft open this summer.