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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.

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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Image credit: diamonds

In former lives Leon's been a scientist, a musician and teacher, stints that included a shoe full of liquid nitrogen, a small tour of Germany and oh GOD so much marking.