Facebook to Train a New AI Assistant within Minecraft
Facebook is making the most of the renowned never-ending exploration-based game Minecraft to build and train an innovative artificial intelligence assistant that would understand an extensive selection of various speech-based commands. The mission of this virtual assistant bot is going to be to perform a multitude of functions based on a wide array of spoken human commands.
In July, the team behind Facebook Research and MIT revealed their plans on training an AI assistant that would multitask instead of performing one single function. When explaining why Facebook scientists consider Minecraft to be the ideal space for an AI to explore human interaction, they referred to Minecraft as a ‘sandbox’ exploration video game, where players wander around exploring the world and doing whatever their hearts desire.
The Ideal Space for Training AI Assistant: Why Minecraft?
Even though Roblox has overtaken Minecraft as the world’s most favorite video game, Minecraft is still huge. With over 90 million active monthly players and nearly 200 copies sold, the Minecraft video game is among the best-selling titles of all times, eclipsing such major rivals as Super Mario Bros. and Tetris. These factors definitely contribute to Minecraft being chosen as the perfect foundation for building the aforementioned AI assistant.
The Facebook team believes that the innate curiosity of Minecraft aficionados will provide the artificial intelligence bot with tons of human contacts to exercise with. In fact, based on what the team of researchers claim, Minecraft players will most likely get really excited to come in contact with the in-game bot. With more than 90 M Minecraft monthly active players, the number of humans who could assist in training the AI bot is almost limitless.
As a matter of fact, Minecraft players already have the chance to download Facebook’s AI assistant bot on Github. The concept is still very new and i.e., far from perfect. However, Facebook researchers believe the assistant will eventually evolve to effectively performing tasks given in the form of voice commands by Minecraft players. Even though it may seem simple at first sight, an AI exploring aspects of human interaction has lots to master.
In the long run, the researchers are aiming at building a smart in-game assistant bot that can understand human commands and perform whatever players tell it to do within the gameplay. For example, the AI assistant could build structures of various levels of difficulty in the game, as well as destroy structures or, say, catch mobs, and much more.
While a Minecraft bot is planned as entertaining and fun, its developers will face some intimidating challenges throughout its evolution. Players would expect it to react instantly to their commands. Otherwise, the assistant is simply going to be labeled as slow and ineffective. In addition to this, the AI assistant would have to interact with players by clarifying each task in a smart way, instead of just shooting robotic questions at people.
Despite a myriad of difficulties and challenges, the team of scientists behind the project firmly believe in their success. As a matter of fact, Google pros can boast experience in training similar AI systems. With regard to the Facebook project, researchers claim that their AI assistant will manage to effectively perform tasks outside the game — for instance, by assisting machines to understand the complexities of human speech patterns. What’s more, one day this AI system could be utilized to perform difficult tasks in our everyday life.
AI Assistant within Minecraft: Yay or Nay?
Have you ever wished Minecraft had an Alexa-resembling assistant to help you perform various chores within the game? If you have, you’re probably excited about what you’ve just read in this post. Don’t hesitate to share your two cents with us and other readers in the comment section below.
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