Right now, a little over 1,000 people are watching an AI drive like a maniac on GTA V. I can’t look away, even as the AI causes pandemonium across the streets of Los Santos.
Hosted on the Twitch channel sentdex, “Charles” is a neural network that learns by throwing shit at a wall and seeing what works, basically.
Charles “takes all actions based on single frames at a time, and bases his decisions on just pixel data,” the Twitch description states. “Charles only sees exactly what you see.”
So far, in my time watching this automotive abomination, Charles sure loves to go against traffic, if not speed right into the ocean. I have no idea why it believes that driving in this way is “good,” but we also have to consider that it is trying to learn in a world where the computer seems to have nefarious intent against the player:
Every time the car gets stuck, the simulation resets, and Charles is let loose onto highways he does not understand once more. My favorite part is Michael, who is technically behind the wheel, screaming at the other AI for their bad driving. I also love it when the car gets stuck in water...there’s this peaceful aura to it. You’re free, Charles. For a moment, you’re truly free!
“In time, I intend to give Charles some short-term memory to hopefully improve his driving,” the Twitch description says. Until then, lets enjoy Charles fumbling his way toward intelligence.