World’s Greatest Gamer
– You probably are the world’s greatest gamer. You achieved the highest score at dozens of games. I didn’t thought that you are the gaming type. How can you achieve all of these things? When do you have the time? You are constantly traveling and going through all kinds of crazy and wild adventures. You are still a big mystery to me, I won’t ask again about how you make your money because you don’t want to tell but how about this one, what’s your secret?
– Alright, while some of my methods have to remain a secret for the time being, I can tell you about this one. The secret is that it’s me and it’s not me the one who achieved those high scores.
– What do you mean? It has to do with philosophy, Schrodinger’s cat maybe? I don’t get it.
– You can train someone or something to copy and to do what you are doing but much better. In this case, it’s the case of SOMETHING. We’re talking about artificial intelligence here. I can give it a small push, a part of me and my actions for the machine to copy and machine takes it from there and does it much much better.
– Wow…I didn’t expected this answer. So it’s actually not you the one, isn’t it? It’s an intelligent bot. That explains a lot, explains how you can have all that free time.
– Yes, some people, a lot of them actually, are afraid of something more intelligent than them, especially when that thing doesn’t have intrinsic vulnerabilities called emotions. I prefer to see the good side of things, we are far from an artificial intelligence that has the power to annihilate human kind. The truth is that these little bots can be liberating.
– How hard is to work with AI?
– Not as hard as most people think. Especially when there already are tools available to use. What I used is OpenAI Gym and Universe, no That Universe, Universe is another platform from OpenAI. OpenAI is an AI research company founded by some great guys like Elon Musk and Sam Altman and their tools are, as the names suggests, open and free to use. Speaking of the good or evil long term impact that AI can potentially have on humankind, OpenAI states and I quote: “should be an extension of individual human wills and, in the spirit of liberty, as broadly and evenly distributed as possible…”.
– I hadn’t heard about OpenAI before.
– Well it’s relatively new, it’s been around for only two years now. It’s possible that it will be very popular in the future. Let me now tell you how I actually did it. At some games I, sorry I mean the bot, the bot achieved a 80% of the possible score after only between a 1 and 2 hours of training and a 100% score after about 12 hours of training. Not bad isn’t it? Speaking of training there are two possibilities here, the first one is this: you let the bot learn everything by himself, this approach might require, depending on the complexity of the task, millions of trials and errors, each time he does something right he gets a virtual reward. The other possibility is to let the bot copy your human actions and improve them based on that virtual reward system that I mentioned earlier. I tried this approach at first but requires quite some time so what I did is I simply externalized this process to someone else, there are a lot of online places where you can find someone to do this for cheap or even free since we are talking about gaming here! The training requires a lot of computing power so you need to have a decent computer or you can simply rent a rig from one of the many solutions available in the cloud like Amazon EC2 or Google’s Compute Engine. This might not come cheaply. You also need to know some scripting language like Python because Python is quite popular in the world of artificial intelligence. It’s not that complicated, really, to learn and to work with Python. So what you do is this: you download Python and learn it, a weekend is sufficient to get the basic gist out of it. You then install Gym and Universe, the free tools from OpenAI and their dependencies. Gym is a toolkit for developing and comparing reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms, it sounds scary and complicated but it’s not, trust me, Universe is an existing collection of environments like Flash games, browser tasks and apps, mobile games and apps, computer games, using Universe you can turn any program into a Gym environment. You create a new Python script and import Gym and Universe into it. You start coding the rest of the bot. That’s about it.
– Huh…I think I understood only some parts of what you said. I don’t know much about algorithms, algebra, alchemy or whatever it takes to create an “intelligent” creation. I can’t remember the most intelligent thing that I’ve ever created but it most probably involved using some duct tape.
This is a work of fiction part of the Most Interesting Man in the World collection of short stories loosely inspired from my own life and other real life events.