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AI Teaches Robots to Walk by Creating Custom Obstacle Courses

via Science

The new program, called Paired Open-Ended Trailblazer (POET) first comes up with a set of unique terrains, each inhabited by a computer-controlled character. Using only two legs and a laserlike rangefinder, the character must teach itself to walk. After a period of practice, the artificial intelligence changes the challenge—sometimes making it easier, and sometimes more difficult. It might make trenches wider, stumps taller, or the ground more uneven. Occasionally a different walker is swapped in, to see whether the skills learned on one terrain will help on another. This mutating and swapping of obstacle courses creates an unpredictable series of stepping stones on the path to agility.

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