Thursday, February 26, 2015

Google's AI Platform Producing Results

As Google continues to assert it's digital dominance, it has unleashed a new product onto the world: an artificial intelligence that plays video games. Bloomberg likened it to a teenager, because that's all they do right? Play video games all day? Haha. Stereotypes are funny.

But in all seriousness, this is kind of nifty. Google acquired DeepMind Technologies last year and dived into their project, which exposed computers running general AI software to the Atari 2600. The AI's were given no directions on how to utilize the games. They were given free reign to figure it out on their own. And so they did...

When the computer completed a challenge or passed a level, they were given a reward. How you give an AI reward I'm not entirely sure. The press release didn't go into details on that. The AI's did manage to beat human players, experts on the games, in 29 fields, and defeated mathematical/algorithmic games in 43 instances against software designed to win the game. Games like Tetris would fall into those categories. Pac-Man not so much because there isn't one formula to beat the levels.

The experiment was not designed as a means of cheating at video games by using a super awesome computer. The system is meant to look to alternatives for problem solving in the real world. At it's core, the concept is to let people and computers think about the world around them, and then create a plan of action. One day Google's self-driving cars will be able to drive based on experience, not on it's digital equations on what is and is not a road.  The next step in the experiment is to move to more three-dimensional games now that they have figured out what works on flat pixels.

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