Gaming company NVIDIA shows off AI that Pacman was able to recreate in just four days by watching gameplay
- Nvidia’s AI can recreate playable games simply by watching gameplay
- It was able to construct Pacman’s code in just four days
- The tool can be used to generate levels and other game aspects
- It also has applications for generating algorithms outside of video games
Gaming company Nvidia says it has developed an artificial intelligence that can recreate playable games simply by viewing them.
The AI can absorb visual input, as well as any actions a player enters into the game. It can then reproduce code that translates into a playable game.
In a demonstration, Nvidia showed how its AI was able to reconstruct a playable version of the Pacman game after just four days of watching gamers playing it.
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The AI managed to recreate Pacman (pictured) by watching gameplay and looking at user input. It reconstructed a playable version of the game to be released in the future
Nvidia says it will make the AI’s recreation of Pacman available to play online for free.
“It learns all these things just by looking,” says Nvidia’s vice president of simulation technology, Rev Lebaredian, according to The Verge.
‘[It’s] similar to how a human programmer can watch many episodes of Pacman on YouTube and infer what the game rules are and reconstruct them. ‘
As noted by The Verge, while the AI’s recreation isn’t a copy of Pacman – the aesthetics aren’t as polished and the mechanics aren’t as nuanced – it nailed the arcade classic basics.
In addition to being a new use of AI in game development, Nvidia’s demonstration is important because of its implications for making programming easier.
For example, Nvidia says the AI can be used to combine elements from different games or design different levels.
Nvidia is still in its infancy, saying the AI can even have applications outside the video game world and can be used to develop algorithms.
For example, the company said in a briefing that the AI could design navigation algorithms by looking at robotic carts.
As noted by The Verge, using AI to generate games or virtual worlds isn’t new, but Nvidia’s AI improves past attempts in several ways.
First, the company’s ‘memory module’ system – which allows the AI to store a map of the game – makes the end product more consistent.
It also distinguishes between static and dynamic aspects of a game.
However, there are still some major obstacles to make the AI practical. According to The Verge, the system required viewing 50,000 “episodes” of Pacman.
Since generating so many human-played game hours was unrealistic, the team decided to generate the game hours on the computer.
However, the AI used to simulate gameplay was too good in the game, making it difficult for Nvidia’s system to understand concepts like dying.