‘Pac-Man’ once felt futuristic. Now there’s a new one built entirely by AI.

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'Pac-Man' once felt futuristic. Now there's a new one built entirely by AI.

We all have to look a little harder for reasons to celebrate in this dark year of 2020, but here’s a good one: On May 22, Pac-Man turns 40.

The first video game to really catch the attention of a global audience came to Japanese and American arcades in 1980. The round, yellow hero’s pellet-chomping, ghost-dodging ways immediately felt like a technological marvel. But now, the same feat of computer programming that seemed so complex way back when has been rebuilt from the ground up – by a thinking computer.

That creation, the AI that built its own Pac-Man, is the product of Nvidia’s research team. The Nvidia GameGAN, as it’s called, learned everything it could about the classic arcade game over the course of 50,000 “episodes,” or play sessions, in which it monitored key presses and on-screen behaviors to glean an understanding of Pac-Man‘s ground rules. Read more…

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