Recently, computer scientists have been working on teaching machines to do a wider range of tasks around the house. Researchers demonstrated 'VirtualHome', a system that can simulate detailed household tasks and then have artificial agents execute them, opening up the possibility of one day teaching robots to do such tasks. The team trained the system using nearly 3,000 programs of various activities, which are further broken down into subtasks for the computer to understand.
A simple task like making coffee, for example, would also include the step grabbing a cup. The researchers demonstrated VirtualHome in a 3D world inspired by the Sims video game. The team's AI agent can execute 1,000 of these interactions in the Sims-style world, with eight different scenes including a living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and home office. The project was co-developed by CSAIL, the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of Ljubljana.