OpenAI Releases Universe To Train AI To Use Computers Like Humans

OpenAI has released Universe, a software platform for measuring and training the general intelligence of artificial intelligence (AI) for apps, websites and games.

Universe enables an AI agent to use a computer in a similar way a human does, which according to OpenAI, involved looking at screen pixels and operating a virtual keyboard and mouse.

The software effectively allows an AI agent to be trained to complete any task a person can do with a computer.

AI agent training

Universe builds upon OpenAI’s Gym toolkit designed for the development and comparing of reinforcement learning algorithms; a branch of machine learning by which an AI learns through taking action in an environment.

The Universe software essentially allows any program to be turned into a Gym environment by launching it behind a virtual desktop avoiding the need for Universe to have direct access to the programs source code and other protected internal data.

With Universe, OpenAI claims that smart agents can be trained to work within a thousand environments, ranging from Flash-based apps and browser tasks to fully fledged 3D games.

“Our goal is to develop a single AI agent that can flexibly apply its past experience on Universe environments to quickly master unfamiliar, difficult environments, which would be a major step towards general intelligence,” said OpenAI.

While Universe appears to be aimed at games in general, the open source technology could be adjusted to work on AI tasks for business, such as automated editing of spreadsheets. Open AI sees Universe as a means to train AI agents for real-world use as well as being applied to games.

“We’ve begun work on more realistic browser tasks. The agent takes an instruction, and performs a sequence of actions on a website. One such environment hands the agent details of a desired flight booking, and then requires it to manipulate a user interface to search for the flight,” the organisation said.

With AI being championed as a core element of digital transformation, and even legacy tech giants like Fujitsu getting in on the game, it is likely both the consumer and enterprise world will have more AI agents carrying out mundane tasks in our stead in the near-future.

AI is on the rise; but how much do you know about smart computers?

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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