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.

Favorites

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2014

It’s always tough to pick my favorite visualization projects. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

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.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.