Know why Facebook is Using Minecraft to Train its AI Assistant

Whenever we hear Minecraft, the first thing that pops in our head is an addictive game that helps us to take a break from the daily chaos of life. The virtual world of Minecraft is both engaging and fun. However, for Facebook, Minecraft is more than a simple game. They have found a new use for the game and they are using it as training ground for their AI assistant.

According to MIT technology review, Facebook’s research team is currently using the 3D sandbox game to train its AI assistant. That’s because of “it’s near-limitless ability to create and rules that are simple and predictable within certain limits.” It is because of the quality of Minecraft that it makes the perfect fit for a generalist AI assistant. Arthur Szlam, research at Facebook and his team has come up with an AI assistant that resides within the game and is capable of responding to user commands using the built-in chat mechanism.


The AI assistant is designed to receive commands from a human and then interpret what is being asked. Not only that but it can also respond in text format within the chat system. Other than that it is also equipped to perform tasks commanded of it within the game world. For example, it can create a circle where the player wants it too. It can perform the task and also respond when it is complimented on the end results.

Creating a circle is a simple task but Facebook is working on the AI to make it complete a complex task. For example, if the AI is asked to build a tower using 15 blocks and then put a smiley on top, the Ai has to interpret what a tower is. This task may seem to be very easy to a human operator but the AI-first needs to understand the task before doing it. It has to interpret how high a 15 blocks tower is and how to create the smiley face.

According to the research team:

Since we work in a game environment, players may enjoy interacting wit the assistants as they are developed, yielding a rich resource for human-in-the-loop- research.” they also added, “The set of things a player could possibly do in the game is enormous; in the most naïve sense, it is all possible ways of placing all the possible blocks into as big a world as fits in RAM.

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