It's me, Mario!
Most of us might recognize the catchphrase from Nintendo's famous video game franchise, but this time, Mario really means it.
The Cognitive Modelling Group at University of Tübingen in Germany has made a self-aware Mario by creating artificial intelligence that allows the character to think for himself, according to a video created by the researchers. The team created the project, called "Mario Lives!" for an annual video competition organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, The Verge reports.
In the video, Mario can be seen performing a variety of tasks and interacting directly with a player using voice commands. Mario also now has the ability to learn, the researchers explain. For example, the video shows someone explaining to Mario that he should jump on a Goomba, a recurring enemy, to kill it. Then, Mario is able to repeat back that if he jumps on a Goomba, "it certainly dies."
The AI Mario has even been given "inner emotive states" that allow him to express happiness, fear and even hunger -- he eats coins when he's feeling peckish.
"As most of you know, this is Mario," a researcher in the video explains. "But what you do not know is that this Mario has become aware of himself and his environment — at least to a certain extent."
"He starts out with knowledge of his body then registers additional context to his knowledge base," he adds.
To find out more about the Mario Lives! AI project, watch the video above.