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To Navigate Obstacles, an AI Invented its Own Derpy Parkour

To Navigate Obstacles, an AI Invented its Own Derpy Parkour

When Google’s Deep Mind AI was tasked with navigating obstacles on its own without any previous info, the AI invented a… unique brand of parkour.

Say hello to our robotic overlords, etc., etc., etc. By now we should all come to grips with the fact that AI are going to one day replace us on the food chain as the dominant sentient life form on the planet. As a species we can’t even agree on when to use a certain type of comma, even though it just makes sense in almost every way to use it, but no, many people refuse to do so because a certain journalistic style guide decided one day that it was going to kill it for “clarification” despite the continued protests of millions and the almost complete lack of reasoning other than “that’s the way it’s done” and…

Sorry, sensitive subject. Don’t even get me started on the .gif debate.

Anyway, one day AI will probably be making many of our decisions. That doesn’t mean they will “rule us” – why bother – but they are getting more and more sophisticated all the time, and don’t let a little derp convince you otherwise.

Google’s Deep Mind AI was given a simple task: get to the end of the 2D course using only forward momentum. It was given a set of legs to accomplish this task, and it then had to overcome a series of obstacles. It had no guidance on how to overcome them, so after a little bit of trial and error, it learned a few moves on its own.

The moves look a little derpy and the music doesn’t help, but this really is a fairly significant step in AI development. While the clip looks more like a bad game of Super Mario than a test of one of the most cutting edge technologies in existence, the implications have real-world effects – the most notable being in how AI-controlled robots might learn to interact with their environment.

Think of the litany of robots under development through funding by the military that are designed for traversing combat zones. When an AI is smart enough to control these, it will change the face of warfare forever. You won’t be laughing at the goofy little AI running parkour when a heavily armed 10-foot tall steel monstrosity with six legs jumps over a tree to come say hi.

And once those AI have an opinion about how to pronounce .gif, may God help those that it disagrees with it, because there will be nowhere to hide.

Anyway, check out the clip below for a look at some adorably derpy parkour.

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Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.