Automated Super Mario World gameplay through machine learning

Seth Bling made a bot — MarI/O — that automatically learns how to play Super Mario World. It’s based on research by Kenneth O. Stanley and Risto Miikkulainen from 2002 that uses neural networks that evolve with a genetic algorithm. MarI/O starts out really dumb, just standing in place, but after enough simulations it get smart enough to navigate the world.

Code available here and the paper from Stanley and Mikkulainen is here.

See also: the genetic algorithm walkers.


How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.

Divorce Rates for Different Groups

We know when people usually get married. We know who never marries. Finally, it’s time to look at the other side: divorce and remarriage.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably

The individual data points of life are much less predictable than the average. Here’s a simulation that shows you how much time is left on the clock.