Artificial intelligence is real. In the past decade, AI has emerged from the pages of science fiction into reality, and it’s already become a part of your life — we’re not just talking about Siri and the Google Assistant, either! There are already a ton of uses for AI right now, despite the AI industry still being in the early stages.
In fact, it’s so early that by the reckoning of many, we don’t even have AI yet. If you consider AI to be something like Skynet, well, there’s no need to worry about the T-1000 for a while — self-aware machines are still far, far away, no matter how nervous laughing Alexa makes you. But, there’s plenty of examples of machine learning, where software improves at a given task by learning from tons and tons of data. Programmers can just turn that data tap on, then let the AI do its thing — and as you’ll see here, there are a lot of those things!
Playing Super Mario Bros.
Let’s start with the important things. MarI/O is an AI program built to learn how to do one thing — beat Mario games. We took a look at how it works a couple months ago, and the good news is, you can still check out the livestream! AI training, uh, takes a while. Anyway, it’s a good place to start because of the simplicity of the concept. The AI is told to go forward as far as it can, and through trial and error eventually figures out how to do that without dying.