Super Intelligent Mario

Super Intelligent Mario

Corey WilsonWednesday,21 January 2015

I love it when people use their talent to do silly things. That’s why I love Mythbusters so much. That show’s nothing more than a group of guys dedicating years of skill and experience to blowing things up in the name of science. And that’s why, when I found out someone had made Super Mario self-aware, I almost wet my knickers.

Why the fuck would people spend time and money on making Mario self-aware? It’s obvious really. With 2015 starting in the absolute worst fashion (war, war, murder, war, hurt feels, war), it’s about time someone stepped up and began orchestrating the fall of Man. In this case by seeking advancement in the field of artificial intelligence (A.I.). Because let’s face it do we really want to be known as the species that destroyed itself because we couldn’t get along? No. That’s stupid. Everyone at the Galactic Federation will make fun of us. What we should be gunning for is to be destroyed by robots. Why? Because then we can be known as the species that was destroyed because it made robots that were too awesome. That’s an accomplishment. I’d much rather be obliterated by a super intelligent robot than by some fuck with an AK while I’m taking a dump at McDonalds.

So this is the beginning of the end then? Not really. This Meta-Mario, as he has been called, is not capable of much—which isn’t to say that the technology behind his actions isn’t complex—it’s pretty fucking awesome. He’s just not capable of exiting his two-dimensional prison, nor is he capable of planning our doom. What’s he’s able to do is respond to voice commands, and learn from experiences (which is more than most of us can say). For example, when Mario is asked, “What do you know about Goomba,” Mario, using a crazy algorithm for deciphering and creating speech, replies by saying, “I don’t know anything about it.” But when he’s instructed to crush a Goomba, and is asked the same question afterward he answers with, “If I jump on Goomba then it maybe dies.”

An artificial being capable of experiencing, remembering, and learning. Pretty cool, eh? But how do they do it? Magic. The magic of technology. Specifically, the team used the CMUSphinx—Speech Recognition Toolkit, to allow Meta-Mario to understand swaths of sentences, and to communicate with users—in a not-at-all creepy Stephen Hawking’s robot voice.

But he’s not simply a static sprite on a two-dimensional screen that takes command from some sky daddy with Cheetos on his breath. No, Meta-Mario was given desires in the form of two “reservoirs” (a Curiosity Reservoir and a Hunger Reservoir) that act as incentive to do things. If his Hunger Reservoir dips, he’ll search for more coins to quell that “feeling.” If his Curiosity Reservoir dips, he’ll go stomp a Goomba, or explore his surroundings.

So while the world crumbles around us, don’t fret. Meta-Mario and his soon-to-be army of apocalyptic terminators are on their way. You’ll make it; just be sure to lock your stall door at McDonalds.

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Hat Tips:

The Guardian, The Verge, Image Credit: Flickr

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