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Project Malmo - Minecraft for AI Research
Katja Hofmann · Matthew A Johnson · Fernando Diaz · Alekh Agarwal · Tim Hutton · David Bignell · Evelyne Viegas

Tue Dec 06 09:00 AM -- 12:30 PM (PST) @ Area 5 + 6 + 7 + 8
Event URL: https://github.com/Microsoft/malmo »

Project Malmo is an open source artificial intelligence (AI) experimentation platform, designed to support fundamental research. Rapid progress in many areas of AI research requires experimentation in interactive settings (agents interact with an environment) that are complex, diverse, dynamic and open, and that provide increasingly more difficult challenges as technology progresses. Project Malmo achieves such flexibility by building on top of Minecraft, a popular computer game with millions of players. The game Minecraft is particularly appealing due to its open ended nature, collaboration with other players, and creativity in game-play.

In this demo, we show the capabilities of the Project Malmo platform and the kind of research they enable. These range from 3D navigation tasks to interactive scenarios where agents converse, compete or collaborate with one another or humans to achieve a goal. The platform is designed to foster collaboration and openness. The result is a cross-platform (Windows, MacOS, Linux), cross-language (e.g., C/C++, Java, C#, Python, Lua) experimentation environment that uses standard data formats to easily exchange tasks and recorded data. Recently, the platform was publicly released as open source software.

Author Information

Katja Hofmann (Microsoft Research)

Dr. Katja Hofmann is a Principal Researcher at the [Game Intelligence](http://aka.ms/gameintelligence/) group at [Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK](https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/lab/microsoft-research-cambridge/). There, she leads a research team that focuses on reinforcement learning with applications in modern video games. She and her team strongly believe that modern video games will drive a transformation of how we interact with AI technology. One of the projects developed by her team is [Project Malmo](https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/project-malmo/), which uses the popular game Minecraft as an experimentation platform for developing intelligent technology. Katja's long-term goal is to develop AI systems that learn to collaborate with people, to empower their users and help solve complex real-world problems. Before joining Microsoft Research, Katja completed her PhD in Computer Science as part of the [ILPS](https://ilps.science.uva.nl/) group at the [University of Amsterdam](https://www.uva.nl/en). She worked with Maarten de Rijke and Shimon Whiteson on interactive machine learning algorithms for search engines.

Matthew A Johnson (Microsoft Research)
Fernando Diaz (Google)

Fernando Diaz is a research scientist at Google Brain Montréal. His research focuses on the design of information access systems, including search engines, music recommendation services and crisis response platforms is particularly interested in understanding and addressing the societal implications of artificial intelligence more generally. Previously, Fernando was the assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Montréal and a director of research at Spotify, where he helped establish its research organization on recommendation, search, and personalization. Fernando’s work has received awards at SIGIR, WSDM, ISCRAM, and ECIR. He is the recipient of the 2017 British Computer Society Karen Spärck Jones Award. Fernando has co-organized workshops and tutorials at SIGIR, WSDM, and WWW. He has also co-organized several NIST TREC initiatives, WSDM (2013), Strategic Workshop on Information Retrieval (2018), FAT* (2019), SIGIR (2021), and the CIFAR Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and the Curation of Culture (2019)

Alekh Agarwal (Google Research)
Tim Hutton (Microsoft)
David Bignell (Microsoft)
Evelyne Viegas (Microsoft Research)

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