By using this new method, the team have been able to teach the AI how to beat games such as Montezuma’s Revenge, Freeway, and Pitfall; all tricky gaming classics from the Atari era of gaming.
“Our method is indeed pretty simple and straightforward, although that is often the case with scientific breakthroughs,” said scientists Adrien Ecoffet, Joost Huizinga and Jeff Clune in an interview with BBC.
Best Platformers of 2020
Key to how the new design, known as Go-Explore, works is that it is able to separate the process of exploring new areas and returning to old ones, and uses different methods to achieve those two goals.
As is often the case in science, this research is being done with a much larger goal of just teaching a computer how to play video games. The team says that the algorithms could be used for guiding robots within industrial locations, such as robotic baristas in a coffee shop.
“In addition to robotics, Go-Explore has already seen some experimental research in language learning, where an agent learns the meaning of words by exploring a text-based game, and for discovering potential failures in the behaviour of a self-driving car,” the team added.
Perhaps the next stage is to progress to 3D platformers? With that in mind, here’s some classic 3D platformers that we’d love to see rebooted.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.