Mojang is to introduce the ability to develop and evaluate AI frameworks within Minecraft.
Arriving in July, the platform will combine Minecraft with the AIX software to allow developers to command a character in-game and then analyse its actions (via BBC).
AIX is open source, meaning that devs need only purchase a copy of Minecraft – something that Mojang owner Microsoft said would set it apart from expensive robot systems.
It added that the platform would be more “sophisticated” than other simulations.
The AI tests will be “roped off” from normal player servers and powered by the developers’ own hardware.
As well as AI developers, Microsoft said the platform would be accessible enough for students, children and researchers to all use. It will also issue teaching materials based on the software.