Nvidia has received two awards at an academic conference for its contributions to machine learning through its incredible MineDojo AI, capable of carrying out nearly any task in Minecraft based on user-generated text prompts. This isn’t the first example of Microsoft and Mojang Studios’ Minecraft, which is receiving new Avatar Legends DLC in December, being used for research purposes, but it’s arguably one of the most impressive.
Originally released as a relatively obscure indie title on PC in 2011, Mojang Studios’ Minecraft has grown to become the best-selling video game of all time in just over a decade. The already successful game inspired several spin-offs and specialized editions following Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang Studios and the Minecraft IP in 2014, leading Minecraft to become more popular than ever. In addition to becoming a hit with gamers, the sandbox title has been used for non-gaming purposes ranging from teaching kids coding to helping raise climate change awareness with the Minecraft Mangrove Restoration Project.
In a new post on the Nvidia blog, the company usually associated with high-end video cards announced that it had won two NeurIPS 2022 Awards for research papers on its MineDojo AI agents. Using the powerful GPT3 deep-learning model, which also powers the text-based AI adventure game AI Dungeon, combined with information gleaned from hundreds of thousands of YouTube videos, wiki pages, and Reddit posts, MineDojo can carry out nearly any task in Minecraft based on user prompts. All a user has to do is type in what they want MineDojo to do, and the AI will set off to complete the instructions to the best of its ability.
In order to “teach” MineDojo how to complete complex tasks in Minecraft, Nvidia researchers designed a system that could take the text from YouTube Minecraft tutorials, r/Minecraft posts, and Wiki pages and associate it with the action or item shown in the video or picture. This approach lets MineDojo not only know what a Nether Portal is when a user tells it to build one, for example, but also all the actions required to create one. Using MineDojo, creations that would take a human player thousands of hours in Minecraft could be assembled automatically in a fraction of the time simply by telling the AI what to build.
Gamers on Mac and Linux who don’t mind a bit of code wrangling can download MineDojo now through the project’s GitHub page to try the AI for themselves. MineDojo’s AI agents represent an impressive step forward in AI and hint at some truly wild future possibilities for video games, though it may take some time until they’re ready to join the humans in a round of soccer on the Minecraft World Cup Qatar 2022 map.
Minecraft is available now for Mobile, PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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Source: Nvidia, MineDojo