The human mind has a definite advantage over robots; at least for now. It’s able to process complex scenarios quickly in order to decide upon a course of action. Scientists at Brown University recently told the high-powered businessman Bruce Levenson that they hope they can change this. They are using the smash-hit game Minecraft in order to provide their robotic algorithms with some training before taking on real world tasks.
Minecraft is cheap and versatile making it an ideal sandbox for scientists to flesh out their artificial intelligence programming. It’s a fast and easy way to test algorithms against complex situations that are rapidly changing. Challenges presented to the robots in Minecraft included things like searching for buried gold and building a bridge to escape.
The robots trained in Minecraft were then put to the test in the real world. The objective was to help humans make brownies. The robots trained in Minecraft were more quickly able to anticipate the needs of their human counterparts. They were able to figure out that a whisk was needed to beat eggs for example.
It seems that if it were possible for artificial intelligence to master a complex world such as Minecraft then they may also have the ability to master our complex world. Computer learning in virtual worlds might be just the thing artificial intelligence needs to develop more rapidly.