Mario becomes sentient after researchers develop his own AI

19 Jan 2015

No longer to be controlled by a player, a team of German researchers has given Mario, the Nintendo icon, his own artificial intelligence (AI) to explore and learn the world through his games.

The team from the University of Tubingen decided Super Mario Advance would be the test-bed for Mario’s creation of a basic level of consciousness that could allow the researchers to issue requests or commands for Mario who learns as the game progresses.

According to CNet, the team members were able to use Carnegie Mellon’s advanced voice-recognition software to allow Mario to understand their commands while also allowing him to respond with his own thoughts and feelings.

In their video highlighting their research, this new Mario was shown to learn what to do when faced with a Goomba.

When told that jumping on a Goomba will kill it, Mario will hunt down a Goomba, jump on it and test its new knowledge and will replicate this when confronted with a Goomba again.

Perhaps even more advanced is Mario’s emotions, which have been built into his AI, that will see him react to different situations depending on his mood. For example, when he feels hungry he will hunt out coins and if his curiosity is peaked, he will explore the environment to find new items he hasn’t encountered before.

Bowser will no-doubt be quaking in his castle at this news …

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic