A curated Microsoft AI has been built from the ground up to achieve the highest score possible on Ms. Pacman.
The maximum score possible in Ms. Pacman is 999,990, and the Microsoft researchers responsible for the project have successfully created a bot that can get to that score without any slip ups.
A Little About Ms. Pacman
Ms. Pacman was an arcade game released in the Golden Age of arcade video games. It was developed as an alternative game to the already popular Pacman title. Ms. Pacman featured very similar gameplay to the original Pacman game, but there were a number of differences.
What’s important though, especially in the case of the Microsoft AI that was built to ‘beat’ Ms. Pacman, is that there are a total of 256 levels before the game crashes. On each level, a player must collect all dots to move to the next level, but there are optional fruit drops that can be picked up for bonus points.
Because of the optional bonus points, not only was the Microsoft AI programmed to beat every level without failure, but it was also developed to pick up every bonus fruit before moving onto the next level.
Technically, more than 999,990 points would be possible in Ms. Pacman, but the high score is limited to 6 units, so after reaching 1,000,000, you’ll actually be rolled back to zero points.
How The Microsoft AI Was Built
Any human that could reach the 999,990 scoreline legitimately in Ms. Pacman would go down as a legend. There are too many variable to focus on and with limited lives, there is too much room for human error.
With AI, this margin for error can be eliminated completely by simply solving all of the variables that can be possible in Ms. Pacman. The Microsoft AI built to beat Ms. Pacman takes all of the following variables into consideration, and then compiles them onto a priority list:
- Eating blue ghosts
- Hitting ghosts
- Eating pellets
- Eating fruits
It puts getting hit by a ghost at the very bottom of the priority list, so the Microsoft AI will always be focusing on avoiding this outcome first. Next, it focuses on eating fruits, or eating blue ghosts, if possible. When neither of these outcomes are possible, for example, when the ghosts aren’t in their blue form, the Microsoft AI will instead focus on eating pellets.
You can get more information by watching the video below, or by checking out the article in the source link.