Microsoft has Built an AI that Aced the World High Score for Ms Pacman

By Julian Benson on at

Sure, it's E3 and you might think that would take up all our time, but there's always time for someone breaking the Ms Pacman high score, or rather: something.

Microsoft has revealed how it has developed an AI that was able to play a perfect game, smashing the world high score for Ms Pacman by 66,000 and getting the maximum possible score.

According to Twin Galaxies and reported by Sploid, a site that tracks high scores on arcade cabinets, Adner Ashman holds the high score for Ms Pacman with a recorded 266,360. Microsoft's AI, developed by a subsidiary company called Maluuba, scored a whopping 999,990.

The AI assigned every element of the game — the dots, the ghosts, and the high-scoring fruit — a tracker and raised its importance to the player by how close it was to them. Every element was assigned a positive and negative reward and in this way it learned how it should navigate the game.  An enemy ghost, for instance, was tracked as a bigger and bigger threat the closer it was to the player, driving the player to move away. If the ghost was edible and nearby, though, then it became a tasty target for the player to chase.

This isn't exactly SkyNet levels of AI but it's cool to see in the video above how an AI dissects a game's elements and processes them to play the game.