GERMAN GAME RESEARCHERS have given Super Mario artificial intelligence abilities, allowing him to "get to know his own world" by becoming aware of himself and his environment.
The team of cognitive modelling researchers from the University of Tübingen have worked on the project called 'An Adaptive Learning AI Approach for Generating a Living and Conversing Mario Agent' in a bid to win the annual video competition run by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
The competition, demonstrated in the form of a YouTube video (below), explores how the mind works by focusing on its developmental aspects and the "highly interactive modularity" of the brain.
The researchers conducted studies in behavioural psychology and built computational models of cognitive processes, giving Mario the ability to make his own decisions based on curiosity, happiness and fear.
The programme uses Carnegie Mellon's speech recognition toolkit so that Mario can understand spoken commands.
For example, when phrases from the toolkit's language tree are spoken aloud Mario can choose which actions to take based on what he has learned.
The video depicts this by showing Mario learning what jumping on a goomba will achieve. He doesn't know that doing so will destroy it until he has been told this information or found it out for himself when instructed to destroy an enemy.
"Mario will collect coins if he is hungry, whereas when he is curious he will explore his environment and autonomously gather knowledge about items he does not know much about yet," the researchers explained.
The programme of Cognitive Modeling was known previously as the Cognitive Body Spaces: Learning And Behaviour, or Coboslab.
Coboslab has been developing artificial self-organised cognitive systems for some time, which learn multimodal modular sensorimotor bodyspace representations for effective learning and behaviour.
"We have developed and implemented artificial adaptive systems that learn, develop and behave autonomously based on learning principles derived from cognitive psychology and neuroscience," the researchers' website says.
"Meanwhile, we have investigated behavioural flexibilities and spatial representations and perceptions to verify or evaluate the developed computational models and to gain further insights on how space is perceived and behaviour is controlled." µ
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