Microsoft has officially made Project Malmo, its Minecraft-based artificial intelligence research platform, available to all through Github. The open-source system was previously only available to a small group of researchers.
The system, which had until now only been open to a small group of computer scientists in private preview, is primarily designed to help researchers develop sophisticated, more general artificial intelligence, or AI, that can do things like learn, hold conversations, make decisions and complete complex tasks.
Minecraft may seem an odd choice for studying artificial intelligence, but Microsoft notes that researchers involved in the private preview were keen on its "endless possibilities for collaboration and exploration" as an ideal testing ground for AI research.
In addition, Microsoft notes that the public launch heralds the arrival of new tools to the platform, like the ability to run experiments at a much faster pace (called overclocking), that should be a boon to researchers. If you're an interested programmer, you can check out Project Malmo in Github now.