Mario Lives!: A 'Self-Aware" Mario with Adaptive A.I. That Can "Think,""Feel," and "Learn"


Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2014
Super NES
This is fairly interesting news in the field of adaptive artificial intelligence, with a strong Nintendo connection: computer scientists from Germany's University of Tübingen have used adaptive A.I. to create a version of Mario that can "think," "feel," and "learn"--dubbed the "Mario Lives! Project".

This version of Mario begins with basic knowledge about his body and environment and builds upon that knowledge base as he learns. This Mario can moreover understand a wide breadth of sentences and questions posed by the computer scientists. He can even make decisions based upon "how he is feeling:" searching for coins when "hungry," exploring when "curious," etc. He can even be taught and learn that "if I jump on Goomba, then he certainly dies!"

Although impressive, Mario isn't that different from a generic computer opponent and as such the A.I. into itself isn't the most impressive aspect of the Mario Lives! project. The project's uniqueness rests with the combination of that A.I. with psychology.

Read more about this here.

This adaptive, self-aware Mario can learn that when he jumps on a Goomba, said Goomba "certainly dies"--but can this Mario understand what a Goomba's death truly signifies? Can this Mario develop empathy and compassion for others, even Goombas? Can this Mario learn that it is morally wrong to murder a Goomba? Does the act of Goomba stomping make this Mario "feel somehow less happy?" Does a reward of a mere 100 points justify the loss of a tiny mushroom goblin's life to this Mario? The future of A.I. and humanity alike might just depend on the answer to these questions!
This is actually really unique and I like these concepts. I think the Mario, even programmed with no empathy or not, is a nice advancement for video game A.I. to say the least. Imagine if they perfect this system - the enemies would be self-aware of Mario instead of just wandering back and forth or derping out. It would make the Mario games considerably harder if the A.I. thought like that.
I agree. Improving the A.I. of even minor enemies has long been an on-going, moving target goal of making a more challenging (for the right reasons) and rewarding game. Adding an adaptive element to that equation would bring a whole new dimension to that effort--a true paradigm shift!
However, in the case of Mario's foes: I suspect that if Koopa Troopas and Goombas were given adaptive intelligence and could truly learn, they would realize that they're being exploited and are suffering under an abominable, spoiled, tyrannical, bourgeoisie royal family obsessed with kidnapping a peaceful neighbour's princess and waging war against a pair of mere plumbers! Like the French and the Russians before them, the Koopa proletariat would probably rise up in revolution and overthrow Bowser and his brood--doing Mario's work for him! "Onward Koopa comrades! Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!" ;)
All I have to say to above post is I AGREE COMRADE.

But Russian Mario does NOT!

I don't know about Russian Mario disagreeing, he seems very much on the side of Soviet-style revolution to me! ;)

I must also say that I don't think I've seen such an intense, hardcore, and badass version of Mario either--he's showing no quarter to those Goombas and Koopas! :eek:
Now we know why Mario (clearly part of the proletariat as a working class carpenter turned working class plumber) sports a Stalinesque Moustache, carries a hammer (yet no sickle), and wears red overalls with a Leninesque hat! Oh, and yellow five-pointed stars make him invincible too! ;)
Whoa this is really cool I will do some more research into this. I think it is a bit weird but it is just showing us how far we have come in this world today.
Those goombas had it coming, though. They took Mario's money.
Those goombas had it coming, though. They took Mario's money.

Soviet Mario should be in favour of wealth distribution though!

Naked, aggressive avarice is much more befitting that greedy, capitalist swine Wario! ;)
Did I say money? I meant Vodka. Lots of Vodka. Look at Toad - he was the accident of too many drugs and Mario's true son with Peach, always trying to be a bro instead of a son.

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