STAI CDT at King’s Festival of AI: ‘AI learns to play a video game’

15th June 2023 | News

News > STAI CDT at King’s Festival of AI: ‘AI learns to play a video game’

STAI CDT PhD students Philipp Alex Rader, Alex Goodall and Tibi Georgescu (2022 cohort) took part in the recent King’s Festival of Artificial Intelligence with their demonstration, ‘AI learns to play a video game’.

Their demo challenged visitors to beat an AI that was trained to play the classic Atari 2600 game and encouraged visitors to learn about the state-of-the-art techniques used to help AIs learn.

On how the demo went, Alex said, “While the challenge proved to be almost impossible, we had two participants actually beat the AI’s score on their first attempt! Bearing in mind the AI had roughly 150 days of real time experience playing Breakout”. 

AI learns to play Atari 2600 (photo credit: David Tett)

Alex enjoyed the opportunity to chat about people’s views on AI and some visitors had even specifically come to the festival as Atari fans. As Alex said, “For me personally, the experience was very positive. Several people came with very good questions, and I think a lot of people found it quite remarkable that an AI could master such a game by only observing the pixels of the screen. I think we were able to inspire participants of all ages, from very young to less so, to learn more about how AI works. And at the very least, everyone definitely had fun playing the game. Hopefully, some of these people will become AI leaders in the future!”

You can read more about their event here. We also encourage you to visit King’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence’s exhibition, Bringing the Human to the Artificial, which runs until 30 June in the Arcade at Bush House and highlights AI across King’s College London.