Universe lets AI agents practice computer skills

Dusk Drive game
Universe makes it possible for an AI agent to play Flash games like Dusk Drive. (OpenAI Graphic)

If you were weirded out by HBO’s “Westworld,” hold onto your cowboy hats: OpenAI, the artificial intelligence lab backed by Elon Musk and other tech gurus, has released a software platform called Universe that lets AI agents use computers the way humans do.

Universe’s first mission? Master thousands of video games and real-world browser tasks.

The idea is to train AI agents to hone their general-intelligence skills by exposing them to a huge number of computer-based environments, over and over again.

“Our goal is to develop a single AI agent that can flexibly apply its past experience on Universe environments to quickly master unfamiliar, difficult environments, which would be a major step towards general intelligence,” OpenAI says in a blog post announcing Universe’s release.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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