Computer Teaches Itself to Play Games

Geert van den Boogaart
June 5th 2013

Computer games were originally designed to be fun for humans, not for algorithms. Programmer Tom Murphy challenged himself to create a computer algorithm that could learn to play (and beat) Super Mario Bros.

During a human-played session, the algorithm observes the player, mapping events to buttons used. This allows the algorithm to complete levels of the games which were not even ‘learned’ during the input session. This is different from normal artificial intelligence algorithms that are trained to do a specific task.

Murphy's program teaches itself to play rather than it being programmed to take certain actions on specific events. Even though the algorithm was made for Super Mario bros, it works well with any older, side-scrolling game.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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