Microsoft officially opens Project Malmo for public use. The platform, which is based on the massively popular sandbox video game Minecraft, will be available via open-source license to all interested programmers and developers at GitHub.
Project Malmo is a multi-disciplinary research platform that focuses on advanced artificial intelligence research. The world of Minecraft is used as a test bed, helping various researchers involved in the project to develop better AI for various tasks and applications.
For instance, one of the most important objectives in Project Malmo is the enhancement of reinforced learning. In AI terms, this means programs that are specifically developed in order to make the AI learn from its surroundings, on its own, through trial and error.
Voice recognition as first success
According to Microsoft's official report, one of the most successful trial and error endeavors accomplished using Project Malmo was in the field of voice recognition, improving the AI's understanding of words, structure, and semantics of human languages.
With the project going open-source, its original team of researchers now believe that Project Malmo has the potential to speed up its research progress by a huge exponential factor.
Collaboration factors aside, the greatest perceived benefit of the decision to make it open-source is the possibility test the platform using other systems. With presumably vastly different designs and objectives, systems developed by other AI researchers would allow the project to aggregate even more clusters of data, thus speeding the pace of research.
Project Malmo uses Java coding and is available in Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Interested individuals who would like to try out the platform for themselves may check out and download it at its official GitHub link.