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Wednesday | June 3, 2020
40 Years on, PAC-MAN Recreated with AI by NVIDIA Researchers

40 Years on, PAC-MAN Recreated with AI by NVIDIA Researchers

Forty years to the day since PAC-MAN first hit arcades in Japan, and went on to munch a path to global stardom, the retro classic has been reborn, delivered courtesy of AI.

Forty years to the day since PAC-MAN first hit arcades in Japan, and went on to munch a path to global stardom, the retro classic has been reborn, delivered courtesy of AI.

Trained on 50,000 episodes of the game, a powerful new AI model created by NVIDIA Research, called NVIDIA GameGAN, can generate a fully functional version of PAC-MAN — without an underlying game engine. That means that even without understanding a game’s fundamental rules, AI can recreate the game with convincing results.

GameGAN is the first neural network model that mimics a computer game engine by harnessing generative adversarial networks, or GANs. Made up of two competing neural networks, a generator and a discriminator, GAN-based models learn to create new content that’s convincing enough to pass for the original.

“This is the first research to emulate a game engine using GAN-based neural networks,” said Seung-Wook Kim, an NVIDIA researcher and lead author on the project. “We wanted to see whether the AI could learn the rules of an environment just by looking at the screenplay of an agent moving through the game. And it did.”

As an artificial agent plays the GAN-generated game, GameGAN responds to the agent’s actions, generating new frames of the game environment in real time. GameGAN can even generate game layouts it’s never seen before, if trained on screenplays from games with multiple levels or versions.

This capability could be used by game developers to automatically generate layouts for new game levels, as well as by AI researchers to more easily develop simulator systems for training autonomous machines.

“We were blown away when we saw the results, in disbelief that AI could recreate the iconic PAC-MAN experience without a game engine,” said Koichiro Tsutsumi from BANDAI NAMCO Research Inc., the research development company of the game’s publisher BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., which provided the PAC-MAN data to train GameGAN. “This research presents exciting possibilities to help game developers accelerate the creative process of developing new level layouts, characters and even games.”

We’ll be making our AI tribute to the game available later this year on AI Playground, where anyone can experience our research demos first hand.

Read More/Source: Nvidia Blog

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