You may have heard of Project Malmo (previously Project AIX), Microsoft's attempt to use Minecraft as a way to develop artificial intelligence. The project has now been officially made public, and is available to download as mod for Minecraft.
Microsoft Research demonstrated the technology about 3 months ago, showing how it could train an AI to learn how to climb a hill, for example. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop an AI for Minecraft that demonstrated something called general intelligence, the ability to learn from mistakes and make decisions based on past experiences.
Microsoft ResearchA computer algorithm may be able to take one task and do it as well or even better than an average adult, but it can’t compete with how an infant is taking in all sorts of inputs – light, smell, touch, sound, discomfort – and learning that if you cry chances are good that Mom will feed you
If you want to get involved with unleashing AI's into the world of Minecraft, be aware; this isn't for the faint of heart. You'll need some serious programming knowledge (although a wide range of programming languages can be used).
I'll say this; if the bots we have on our IRC channel are anything to go by, this will probably be both an educational, and entertaining, experience.
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