Posts Tagged ‘MIT’

Computer Reads Manual, Plays Civ

By Jim Rossignol on July 13th, 2011.

We can no longer hide our secrets from the machines by writing them in books.
MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab report that they have boosted the effectiveness of a game-playing AI by enabling it to read the manual: “When the researchers augmented a machine-learning system so that it could use a player’s manual to guide the development of a game-playing strategy, its rate of victory jumped from 46 percent to 79 percent.”

What’s most amazing about this is that despite the trial and error nature of this kind of machine learning, the ability to correlate text instructions with events in the game do seem to have a significant impact on the system’s capacity to learn how to play, as the article explains: “The researchers also tested a more-sophisticated machine-learning algorithm that eschewed textual input but used additional techniques to improve its performance. Even that algorithm won only 62 percent of its games.” So, you know, RTFM is sound advice, even if you are a machine.

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Crikey: 3D Printing In And Out Of Minecraft

By John Walker on July 8th, 2011.

Toy stores are in so much trouble.

3D printing is one of those things that I’m not quite sure if I believe in. I mean, sure, I’ve watched videos of the devices printing, and yes, I’ve held physical objects that have been printed. But still, come on, it doesn’t sound very realistic, does it? Via Alice Taylor, who is currently creating a business around the mystical world of such printing (gratuitous plug for my podcast interviewing her and Cory Doctorow), comes a video of MIT students figuring out a way to print 3D objects created in Minecraft. And via that comes a video of someone printing 3D objects within Minecraft.

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Remembering Adventure Games: Rosemary

By John Walker on August 4th, 2009.

We were contacted by Clara Fernández-Vara to let us know about a short adventure game she has developed at MIT as part of her dissertation on the subject. Now that’s a dissertation I’d like to write. The game, made along with a team of students, is an exploration of memories and nostalgia, and can be downloaded for free from here. It’s called Rosemary, and is worth a look.

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