Minecraft are a fantastic tool for teaching learning algorithms

It might sounds crazy, but open-world games like Minecraft are a fantastic tool for teaching learning algorithms—which power the next generation of advanced artificial intelligence—how to understand and navigate three-dimensional spaces. Achieving that is a major stepping stone toward creating AI that can interact with the real world in complex ways.

It’s easy to consider videogames mindless escapism, but because they generate such vast amounts of information—think of the expansive world players create in Minecraft—they are exceptionally well suited to teaching an AI how to perceive the world and interact with it. “It’s hard for a human to teach AI,” says Xerox researcher Adrian Gaidon, because they are “worse than the worst toddlers in the world—you have to explain everything.”

Beyond a certain point, humans just don’t have the time and patience to teach an AI how to behave. Videogames don’t have that problem. You may grow frustrated with them, but they never grow frustrated with you. Read More

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