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.


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.

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

How We Spend Our Money, a Breakdown

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

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.