“Minecraft,” the sandbox video game originally created by Markus “Notch” Persson,” a Swedish game designer, is not just a game for researchers at Microsoft Research Lab. The lab’s open-source platform is testing artificial intelligence using the game’s pixelated universe.

Katja Hofmann, lead researcher of Microsoft Research Lab, said that the open-source platform, Project Malmo, could create AI agents and set it loose in a modified version of “Minecraft” free-to-roam 3D environment. The agents, through trial and error, learned ways to walk, move and dodge barriers in a physically consistent world, Wired reports.

Moving AI To Interactive Learning

The ability to learn usually needs expensive robots that could also use tolls, craft objects and collaborate with agents directed by humans or other AI. Hofmann said that feature could help move the AI field to interactive learnings from its present paradigm learned through machine. Microsoft trains algorithms with data troves before the AI is deployed.  Is “Minecraft” an effective tool for this?

In interactive learning, most of the coaching would occur on the ground by exchanges with end user. Microsoft uses Malmo to investigate how AI could learn from people using human feedback. Using “Minecraft,” the AI agent could be taught a new skill and given a feedback every time the AI does something correctly.

In selecting a video game to serve as AI training ground, Microsoft tested several games. Hofmann said the lab selected “Minecraft” because of the video game’s versatility, not because the software giant co-founded by Bill and Melinda Gates acquired in 2014 Mojang, the developer of the game in Sweden.

1.0 Update Launch Before End Of 2016

Meanwhile, PCGamesN reports that “Minecraft” Windows 10 Edition would get its 1.0 update soon. There is no official date of the release, but the gaming website confirmed the roll out of the 1.0 update would be before 2016 ends. Also included in the yearend launch are new mobs, items, blocks and changes inbound.

‘Minecraft’ Latest News & Update: Microsoft Uses ‘Minecraft” To Serve As Robo Gym To Test Artificial Intelligence