Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Jun 2017 21:53 UTC
Microsoft

Microsoft researchers have created an artificial intelligence-based system that learned how to get the maximum score on the addictive 1980s video game Ms. Pac-Man, using a divide-and-conquer method that could have broad implications for teaching AI agents to do complex tasks that augment human capabilities.

These AIs are relatively simple and single-purpose now, but just remember what computers looked like only a few decades ago.

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Comment by flanque
by flanque on Tue 20th Jun 2017 07:58 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

I wish I could have used something like this in Game of War: Fire Age!

Ah the memories...

Reply Score: 2

"Just remember a few decades ago"
by avgalen on Tue 20th Jun 2017 08:16 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

Okay, 3 decades ago computers were not simple and not single-purpose. They have greatly increased in speed, formfactor, portability, but fundamentally nothing changed. We are still using the same ideas about motherboards, CPU's, cache, memory, harddisk.

What did change a lot was software. Multi-tasking became completely normal and we first developed lots of techniques (COM/OLE) to let programs integrate with each other, while now we are isolating/sandboxing them again.

Almost all AI software is now written as a closed block, similar to old standalone exe's. There are a few shared libraries/frameworks, mostly in the shape of online webservices (Azure Cognitive Services), but even Googles Tensorflow is mostly used as a local shared package.

Multi-purpose, self-writing/adapting software has been an industry "promise" for a long time, but hasn't really materialized for general purposes

Reply Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


Multi-purpose, self-writing/adapting software has been an industry "promise" for a long time, but hasn't really materialized for general purposes


A comp.sci professor told me back in 1985 that self-writing software was just around the corner and would soon eliminate programmers. [I was naive enough to believe him.]

Reply Score: 2

Sidux Member since:
2015-03-10

Well he was right on some things. Who uses low level programming languages these days?! Most of the stuff written is encapsulated behind frameworks.
Tomorrow's kids will be able to drag and drop blocks of code on their tablet screen so that they can make something work because programming should be fun and easy to understand.
It's not that software will ever be written by itself, just the way it is assembled will change dramatically.

Reply Score: 1

avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Well he was right on some things. Who uses low level programming languages these days?! Most of the stuff written is encapsulated behind frameworks.
Tomorrow's kids will be able to drag and drop blocks of code on their tablet screen so that they can make something work because programming should be fun and easy to understand.
It's not that software will ever be written by itself, just the way it is assembled will change dramatically.

Today's kids are already dragging and dropping blocks of code, for example in Lego Mindstorms (https://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/learn-to-program). Grownups are doing the same in If This Than That.
When you want to do more advanced things you can create code blocks with "real code" that others can reuse, basically creating a shareable dll
I call this dragging-and-dropping of code "microwaving" because although you can create a decent tasting meal with ingredients that others have put in a packaging for you, it doesn't make you a cook and surely not a chef!

Edited 2017-06-21 12:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2