Science and Tech


A Computer Rebuilt 'Super Mario' From Video Of Someone Playing It

A neural network was able to reverse-engineer and reconstruct the rules of some simple 2-D platformers just from watching game footage.
Posted at 9:43 PM, Sep 11, 2017

Artificial intelligence is no longer satisfied with speed-running "Super Mario Bros." — it's learning how to build the game now, too.

Researchers at Georgia Tech wanted to see if a neural network could reconstruct a video game engine just by watching it being played. They gave the network a catalog of game graphics, some basic rules and about two minutes of footage. 

From that, the network was able to break down the footage and use that info to build a system that could more or less emulate the properties of the original game.

Games have long been used to train artificial intelligence to accomplish new feats: It's easier for an AI to grasp the artificial rules of a game than the complex rules of the real world, after all.

But the tech might one day transcend the gaming world. One of the researchers told The Verge: "A future version of this could [analyze] limited domains of reality."