With it being over 10 years now since it was originally released, Minecraft still remains an incredibly popular gaming title. And one, incidentally, that I’m pretty rubbish at. It’s not for the want of trying, but I invariably just end up either getting lost while exploring or becoming the King of my small and overly complicated mud hut. – I should probably learn to play it properly someday. At this point though, I think I’m beyond hope (my nephew certainly seems to think so!).
Following a Twitter post by ‘@OpenAI‘, however, while I might (apparently) be a lost cause, it seems that even AI’s are now capable of not just learning how to play Minecraft, but also getting pretty decent at it too!
We trained a neural network to competently play Minecraft by pre-training on a large unlabeled video dataset of human Minecraft play and a small amount of labeled contractor data. https://t.co/a2pyBqvLvg pic.twitter.com/XbqtwQSTwU
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) June 23, 2022
AI Learns How to Play Minecraft
The AI in question here has effectively been given the task of playing Minecraft as something of a limited information problem. – Given a number of videos to ‘watch’, along with some very basic datasets compiled by supporters of the project, the overall hope was that it would be able to learn and extrapolate enough of the gaps to actually start playing the game by itself.
So, with this in mind, how did it do? Well, the AI didn’t just learn how to pick up the basics of the game, but it actually started displaying key signs of what I would consider a relatively strong intermediate-level understanding of the mechanics. It knew how to start things off in basic terms (with wood to make tools, and then a furnace etc.) but then took this a step further by going out to hunt for diamonds to start giving its character better equipment.
Yes, perhaps basic stuff to experienced human Minecraft players, but this is the first recorded instance of an AI actually being able to play the game, by itself, with minimal information and/or interference. – The only thing that mildly depresses (or worries) me is that this AI is now probably a far better Minecraft player than I’ll ever be!
We at eTeknix do have our own Minecraft server by the way. Although it’s only currently open to humans (sorry robots), if you want to learn more about it, check out our Discord via the link here! – You can also learn more about this AI algorithms development and design via the link here!
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!