THE TECHNOLOGY THAT underpins ChatGPT has the potential to do much more than just talk. Linxi “Jim” Fan, an AI researcher at the chipmaker Nvidia, worked with some colleagues to devise a way to set the powerful language model GPT-4—the “brains” behind ChatGPT and a growing number of other apps and services—loose inside the blocky video game Minecraft.
The Nvidia team, which included Anima Anandkumar, the company’s director of machine learning and a professor at Caltech, created a Minecraft bot called Voyager that uses GPT-4 to solve problems inside the game. The language model generates objectives that help the agent explore the game, and code that improves the bot’s skill at the game over time.
Voyager doesn’t play the game like a person, but it can read the state of the game directly, via an API. It might see a fishing rod in its inventory and a river nearby, for instance, and use GPT-4 to suggest the goal of doing some fishing to gain experience. It will then use this goal to have GPT-4 generate the code needed to have the character achieve it.
The most novel part of the project is the code that GPT-4 generates to add behaviors to Voyager. If the code initially suggested doesn’t run perfectly, Voyager will try to refine it using error messages, feedback from the game, and a description of the code generated by GPT-4.