Today, Microsoft has unveiled a platform which allows computer scientists to use the world of Minecraft to conduct research designed to improve artificial intelligence. The AIX platform, conceived by researchers Katja Hoffman and Matthew Johnson in the Microsoft Research lab in Cambridge, will give researchers practical ways to test their systems and algorithms.
There has been considerable theoretical research into general artificial intelligence, but up to now financial barriers have often stopped researchers putting these theories into practice. The team designed AIX in part because of frustrations with the limitations of other platforms that use simpler, less sophisticated games for artificial intelligence research. Minecraft’s open world nature is ideal for artificial intelligence research because it offers users endless possibilities, and the chance to make complex decisions that have consequences.
Microsoft researchers are using AIX for their own research, and so far they have made it available to a small group of academic researchers. However, this summer it will be available to any computer scientist who wants to use it, via an open-source license.
Please find a blog post with more details about the AIX platform here: https://blogs.microsoft.com/next/2016/03/13/project-aix-using-minecraft-build-intelligent-technology/