Mar 15, 2016 09:18 AM EDT

Microsoft Is Using Minecraft For Artificial Intelligence Innovation

Minecraft is a popular construction game that is due to be tested by Microsoft for artificial intelligence.

Minecraft is a game developed by Mojang based in Stockholm that is played by millions of players on PC's, consoles and phones on the notion of constructing blocks. Back in September 2014, Microsoft has already acquired Minecraft for $2.5 billion, as an educational gaming asset to help teach kids and its use for virtual reality.

Microsoft announced a project that would allow AI researchers to tap into the game and develop a new set of ideas to form their technology.

Project AIX is a new platform for software development that will enable researchers to develop characters that can move about in the Minecraft world that is powered by artificial intelligence also known as agents. The innovation here is meant to provide the characters with similar intelligence and behavior structures such as a regular gamer, which will include standard commands like climbing, navigating through a wide terrain and constructing landscapes while staying in survival mode from vicious zombie attacks.

Katja Hofmann who's leading the project said, "Minecraft is the perfect platform for this kind of research because it's this very open world. You can do survival mode, you can do build battles with your friends, you can do courses, you can implement our own games. This is really exciting for artificial intelligence because it allows us to create games that stretch beyond current abilities." Explaining that the openness and creativity of Minecraft provides endless possibilities to explore and make breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.

Hofmann explained that AIX and Minecraft are both not just about implementing an AI agents into a game, but there focus is also on training the technology to teach itself, as well as giving it all the ingredients to understand the real world.

Microsoft stated in a blog post, "Building a robot and trying to teach it to climb a real hill is costly and impractical unlike in Minecraft, you'd have to repair or replace the robot with another costly machine each time it fell into a river,"

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