Today it has been announced that OpenAI’s latest project has learned how to play Minecraft after a 40,000-hour classroom session watching YouTube videos. It was going to happen sooner or later; the rise of the AI is now upon us – they’ll be babysitting next.
If you don’t know about OpenAI, it is a company that specializes in artificial intelligence, and they have developed a video pre-training (VPT) algorithm that allows its special AI to learn through watching videos. There have been previous attempts to create algorithms for Minecraft, but this is where OpenAI becomes unique as theirs plays in the same environment as humans using its equivalent of a mouse and a keyboard action.
The multiple tests that have taken place show that the AI learned how to chop trees and then make planks from them, as well as build crafting tables. And not only that but it can also swim, hunt (don’t give it any ideas), cook, and much more. After some time though, and a few minor tweaks, the AI was able to develop its productivity with it then being able to build a diamond pickaxe – as players of the game will know, this is something that would take around 24,000 actions to achieve
Here’s the thing though, the AI cannot learn how to do all this with just a basic raw video because the video only shows what can be done instead of how to do it. The decision was eventually made to incorporate annotations into the video to help the AI learn the required amount. 70,00 hours of YouTube footage was now labeled, complete with keyboard and mouse prompts – so we would need to tell the AI’s how to take over the world instead of just telling them it can be done? Interesting.
This was the final piece of the puzzle for the company because it allowed the AI to learn human actions instead of a random collection of inputs. This is just the start though; OpenAI believes this algorithm can be developed further so that AI can play several other games in the future too.
It’s all very interesting stuff anyway and if you want to learn more about OpenAI’s latest project then you can take a look at the company’s blog.