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Playing to Learn

video games

Machine learning and AI have long been employed in the service of playing video games, going up against humans in everything from chess to Go to Dota 2, but so far computers haven’t been put in the service of actually creating and developing games. As with movies and modernist furniture before them, AI is now being applied to the creation of video games. Instead of, say, delivering a bunch of possible moves to a model, a PhD student and his professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology gave a computer hours of footage of humans playing the first levels of Kirby’s Adventure, Mega Man, and Super Mario Bros., with the aim of getting it learn how to design video games. The model creates “game graphs” based on analysis of the spatial relationships of in-game objects and how those change over the course of gameplay. The researchers then tasked the model with creating new game graphs based on what it had already learned. As seen on these videos posted on YouTube, the results, appropriately enough, are positively Pong-like.
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