A group of scientists have designed an artificial intelligence agent called Voyager. They gave it one big goal: “To discover as many diverse things as possible” . And it excelled.
A team of researchers created Voyager, an artificial intelligence agent with GPT-4 technology. They designed it for a single purpose: to play Minecraft, the famous exploration and construction video game. And it did just that. According to the study, the AI demonstrated “exceptional competence”.
Scientists from Caltech, Stanford, the University of Texas and NVIDIA took part in the research. Other AI agents tested in Minecraft used classic reinforcement learning techniques. Voyager, for its part, relies on code generation to improve itself in Minecraft thanks to GPT-4.
Voyager consists of an “automatic program” to drive exploration in the pixel world. In addition, the study report explains that it takes advantage of an ever-expanding “skill library” of executable code to store and retrieve complex behaviors. The AI agent also uses a new iterative request mechanism capable of self-correction,
Minecraft is an open-world game. There are no predetermined objectives, levels or fixed scenarios. Open exploration demands a range of skills and learning from players. In this respect, Voyager's AI demonstrated clear autonomy and rapid evolution without requiring human intervention, the study says.
The team compared Voyager to other agents based on language models other than GPT-4 that were also playing Minecraft. The experiment showed that Voyager was able to find three times as many objects, travel twice as far and unlock landmarks 15 times faster.
What if we set GPT-4 free in Minecraft? ⛏️
I'm excited to announce Voyager, the first lifelong learning agent that plays Minecraft purely in-context. Voyager continuously improves itself by writing, refining, committing, and retrieving *code* from a skill library.
GPT-4 unlocks… pic.twitter.com/hjTxk6Qb1x
– Jim Fan (@DrJimFan) May 26, 2023
How did GPT-4 help the Voyager AI in Minecraft?
Playing Minecraft requires a certain amount of motivation to explore and seek out new tasks. That's why the researchers decided to give Voyager the “curriculum”, or “automatic curriculum”, generated by GPT-4. With this program, they gave him one big goal: “To discover as many different things as possible”.
As Voyager learned new things in Minecraft, its developers stored these abilities in the “skills library”, also thanks to a program generated by GPT-4. “The skills developed by Voyager are time-extended, interpretable and composable, rapidly increasing the agent's capabilities and mitigating catastrophic forgetting,” the researchers explain.
The fact that Voyager could travel longer distances and traverse a wide variety of terrains was a key element in its learning curve. ReAct, Reflexion and AutoGPT, other artificial intelligence agents tested, were often confined to local areas.
Voyager was the only agent to unlock the diamond level of the technology tree. The agent successfully learned new tasks, such as making diamond points, golden swords, lava cubes and compasses. And all without any training or prior knowledge.
The researchers pointed out that the GPT-4 experiment in Minecraft serves as a starting point for the development of powerful artificial intelligence agents. “Autonomous and generally capable agents are the next frontier of artificial intelligence. They continuously explore, plan and develop new skills in open worlds, driven by survival and curiosity”, explained Jim Fan, one of the study's participants, on Twitter. Minecraft is the ultimate test bed, offering endless possibilities for these agents, he added.
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