Microsoft announced the open source code underlying its Project Malmo is now publicly available, enabling artificial intelligence (AI) experimentation by Minecraft users.
The Project Malmo platform was developed to convert the Minecraft environment into a testbed for advanced AI research so coders could experiment on GitHub with an open source license. The system had been limited to a small research group using it to create sophisticated and more general AI that could conduct tasks such as learning, decision-making, and holding conversations.
Microsoft's Allison Linn says AI is essential to building systems for enhancing human intelligence, and she predicts with sufficient development AIs will be able to execute both everyday and life-saving tasks.
Microsoft researcher Kayla Hofmann thinks Project Malmo will help AI researchers create new reinforcement learning strategies, and its public launch will give scientists the tools for inventing bots capable of communicating with people and with each other.
Project Malmo researchers say the immersive Minecraft environment is suitable for AI research as it offers many possibilities for exploration and collaboration.
Project Malmo's public rollout includes Overclocking, a feature that lets people run experiments faster than the typical speed in the world of Minecraft so they can receive results sooner.
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