Ever wonder what it would be like for a bot to learn how to play Super Mario Kart? YouTuber and programmer SethBling’s newest creation MariFlow uses machine learning to create a bot that can zip through Donut Plains 1 just like a human.
As he explains it, MariFlow is a “feedforward neural network.” The bot first analyzes controller inputs fifteen times a second. It is able to remember information from each previous computation,discarding potential decisions that don’t match up with the button presses analyzed from Seth’s fifteen hours of gameplay. In this way, it learned how to play like he did. Eventually, it was able to use that data to complete races and even take first place in the 50cc Mushroom and Flower Cups.
SethBling has released the MariFlow code and all of his recorded inputs so that other players can train it to play even better. Don’t worry. It probably won’t learn to conquer the world. Just Rainbow Road.