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Minecraft is adding AI research simulations. Definitely isn't going to be Skynet

Minecraft is opening itself up as a testing ground for Artificial Intelligence according to Microsoft (opens in new tab).

Starting in July, Minecraft will be able to use software called AIX to let AI control a character. It'll let scientists create something that will be able to interact and react within the game, effectively functioning as a virtual robot.

Because a Minecraft character can move, interact and feed back the results of its actions, the code involved is basically the same as for a real robot, but without the additional cost and technical work. One example given is creating an obstacle course to navigate, a pretty standard test for AI. it could also include experiments where robots have to visually interpret the world around them using the in-game view and even read.

At the moment the testing will happen in its own spaces so there's no chance of running into a bot just yet. However, Katja Hofmann from Microsoft's Cambridge Research lab thinks human-AI interaction could be a thing in the future: "Eventually, we will be able to include tasks that allow AI agents to learn to collaborate with humans and support them in a creative manner."

Which sounds fun until she then says: "this allows experimenters to put in tasks that will stretch AI technology beyond its current capacity [and] provides a way to take AI from where it is today up to human-level intelligence, which is where we want to be, in several decades time." YOU FOOLS! THIS IS HOW THEY TAKE CONTROL.

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Leon Hurley
Leon Hurley

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.