Microsoft traps and tortures poor little AI in soulless Minecraft world

Microsoft’s boffins in its New York research lab are encouraging a Minecraft character to teach itself how to climb a hill. Their work, described here, is an advertisement for AIX. No, not the Unix – Redmond’s platform, due to be open-sourced this summer, that helps computer scientists test their machine-learning algorithms in the Microsoft-owned Minecraft world. With AIX, you build a landscape and then test your AI software on it. This saves you having to create a physical arena to test code: can your neural network overcome obstacles? Find its way out of a maze? Build structures? Waste whole weekends mining stuff while shunning friends and family and avoiding contemplating the inevitability of death? And so on. If there’s one way to fuel a killer AI, it’s to trap it…


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