The open world building and resource management game is being used for Microsoft, creating an AI intelligence called Project AIX that works and learns in the Minecraft environment.
While Minecraft is a game enjoyed by millions, the Microsoft owned title is also being viewed as an educational tool these days, thanks to its roots as a simple construction game.
Educators are viewing Minecraft as a development tool for such things as resource management, organizing, and conservations.
Now the game developed by Swedish-based Mojang is also being used to showcase artificial intelligence software through “Project AIX”.
Microsoft announced the project on Sunday, highlighting that the company has plans for Microsoft far beyond just making some cash from the huge success of its sales.
Project AIX is a new platform that allows users to control and “train” an AI for it to automatically do things within the Minecraft environment. The AI is currently in the testing phase and the development is showing that the system can already perform tasks in the Minecraft world, such as walk around and climb mountains, and we guess also get killed by monsters at night.
Microsoft said the AI knows nothing about the environment before entering it, and has not even been programmed with any instructional information.
It needs to understand its surroundings and figure out what’s important — going uphill — and what isn’t, such as whether it’s light or dark. […] It needs to understand — via incremental rewards — when it has achieved all or part of its goal.
The project goes beyond normal AI, with Microsoft’s system able to learn for itself without needing to be programmed. The company says it uses “general intelligence” to behave in similar ways to humans, making Project AIX far more complex than other similar systems.
Built on the Minecraft Java versions, the project is currently compatible on Windows, Mac, and Linux, built from advanced code within the normal Minecraft game. At the moment, the system is only available for a select few researchers, but Microsoft says it will be launching Project AIX as an open source software in the summer.