Watching a self-driving car cause chaos in Grand Theft Auto V is as amazing as it sounds

Man without machine

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Depending on how you look at it, machine learning is either a terrifying prospect or the coolest shit ever. In the case of a neural network named Charles, however, it’s a bit of both. 

Charles is currently driving through Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V. On the surface, that’s nothing special. Thousands of people still play and stream GTA V daily. But when you consider the fact that ol’ Chuck here is “a convolutional neural network that learns to drive through deep learning,” the live feed on sentdex‘s Twitch stream becomes all the more interesting. 

Watch live video from sentdex on

I’ve been watching Charles drive around since Kotaku covered it earlier today. The automated car tries its damnedest to follow the rules of the road, but a steady stream of SWAT vehicles and police units keep hunting him down. Still, Charles keeps pushing onward, and the simulation resets whenever he’s caught between a roadblock and a hard place. What’s wild is that he maintains his knowledge through resets. Dude’s probably smarter than I am at this point.

Though I know next to nothing about neural networks, sentdex’s breakdown of how Charles “sees” is still fascinating. “At the moment, Charles learns and takes all actions based on single frames at a time,” writes sentdex on the Twitch channel’s ‘About’ section, “and bases his decisions on just pixel data. Charles only sees exactly what you see.”

It’s the last sentence that freaks me out. 

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Ray Porreca
Kane & Lynch 2 forever.
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