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AI teaches itself how to play Atari games

Posted on Thursday, 26 February, 2015 | Comment icon 9 comments

The AI is able to teach itself how to play Atari games. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Georges Seguin
Google's DeepMind AI is now capable of playing several Atari 2600 games as skillfully as a human.
Typically when a computer plays a game such as chess it is able to calculate what moves to make because it has been programmed with all the information that it needs about the game.

DeepMind however, an artificial intelligence created by Google's recently acquired startup DeepMind Technologies, knows nothing about a game when it starts playing but instead learns how to master it through experience as it plays.

The company has now successfully demonstrated this technology in action by having the computer figure out for itself how to rival the scores of human players at a selection of 49 old Atari games.

"It's the first time that anyone has built a single general learning system that can learn directly from experience," said DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis.

"The ultimate goal is to build general purpose smart machines - that's many decades away. But this is going from pixels to actions, and it can work on a challenging task even humans find difficult. It's a baby step, but an important one."

The AI ended up achieving more than 75 percent of the score of human players on more than half of the games it played and even invented strategies and loopholes that everyone else had missed.

"The interesting and cool thing about AI tech is that it can actually teach you, as the creator, something new," said Hassabis. "I can't think of many other technologies that can do that."

Source: | Comments (9)

Tags: DeepMind, Artificial Intelligence

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Use your brain on 26 February, 2015, 11:22
Make it play Diablo 2 from scratch, once it gets to where it can kill hell Baal with its own build and gear, it will then be smarter than 95% of humans.
Comment icon #2 Posted by woopypooky on 26 February, 2015, 12:43
Make it play Diablo 2 from scratch, once it gets to where it can kill hell Baal with its own build and gear, it will then be smarter than 95% of humans. what if it connect to internet and download Diablo 2 savegame editor to give itself wonderful gears?
Comment icon #3 Posted by joc on 26 February, 2015, 13:18
Is Al becoming...Borg like? That really is a scary proposition...what happens when Al learns to hack Military Websites all by him little ole self? What happens when Al thinks that the way to win the GAME is to obliterate Russia and China with Nuclear Weapons and does so? What happens when Al turns on him makers? I remember a joke from when I was a kid....The top computer scientist flicked the switch which fused all of the computers on Earth together into one Giant computer...He then asked the Computer the first question: Is there a God? Instantly the Computer froze the switch in the On positio... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by BiffSplitkins on 26 February, 2015, 13:20
what if it connect to internet and download Diablo 2 savegame editor to give itself wonderful gears? But that will get him kicked off
Comment icon #5 Posted by Galahad on 26 February, 2015, 15:45
I haven't been able to beat my computer at chess, tried endless tatics...but it's currently wearing the pants in our relationship, I'm surprised AI only did 75%..
Comment icon #6 Posted by Junior Chubb on 26 February, 2015, 16:06
Its a great article and an exciting approach to using AI, I do feel it would be more interesting if they used a Joystick with a robotic arm and the computer viewed the screen rather than being fed pixel information. It was even able to come up with loopholes in the games that the team did not know about. I feel this is the best use for AI, simply approaching problem solving from a different perspective to the human mind, who knows what 'loopholes' AI may find for us in the future.
Comment icon #7 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant on 27 February, 2015, 5:36
Today it is learning Atari games, tomorrow it travels back in time and tries to kill Sarah Conner.
Comment icon #8 Posted by The Silver Thong on 27 February, 2015, 6:20
I undestand humans not being able to learn itself but a comp not being able to access every file it has to learn simple code. I log of my phone and my app Bomb Beach keeps playing with itself hmmm
Comment icon #9 Posted by MysticStrummer on 8 March, 2015, 21:06
Call me when it can play Adventure on level 3 and recover the Chalice. That damn bat will certainly cause robot rage.

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