Google’s AI can handle a parkour course like a champ

Google’s DeepMind wanted to push its AI to do more than just win all the time they wanted to teach it “sophisticated motor control” like jumping, crouching, and flipping.

As described in academic papers submitted last week, the company taught its AI body to climb over a wall, jump between planks, and get back up after falling. These are considered complex skills that allow the computer to navigate through a “rich environment.”

In a blog post about the AI’s new skills, the company said it trained the figures to handle diverse terrains (aka digital obstacle courses). It was able to develop skills to handle those obstacles “without receiving specific instructions, an approach that can be applied to train our systems for multiple, distinct simulated bodies.”

The figure doesn’t just walk forward, but can jump over obstacles, get over gaps and spaces, and basically become a parkour master. In the post, the AI team said their goal is to “produce flexible and natural behaviours that can be reused and adapted to solve tasks.”

Parkour!

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