Medical Minecraft – Cognitive computing in games

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Moscow, Russia - August 26, 2014: Minecraft computer game in the genre with elements of survival sandbox and open world for smartphone htc. Developed by Swedish programmer Markus Persson

There are games galore accessible and played from multiple devices and platforms. These are developed for and played by people of all ages for fun, to improve decision making,, learn domain specific skills through serious games and learning to name a few. This article takes a different perspective and examines the future of gaming leveraging cognitive services from the cloud…

Integrating cognitive services into a game, for example, to create a dialog with the players, simulate the personality of the avatars, integrate speech to text, text to speech service  — to name a few  — adds a  new dimension to the players experience.

The interactive capabilities that state of the art cognitive services enable with a game are left to the imagination of game developers.

I had the first-hand experience demonstrating a Medical Minecraft game in US2020 RTP Gaming & IT Expo that was built by high school kids from Connally high school. The game allows players to maneuver nanobots through a human body.

IBM worked with the high school teens who developed the Medical Minecraft game and added another dimension integrating a Watson dialog service that could answer questions like “What is diabetes?,” “What is flu?” etc. from within the game.  The capability to integrate cloud technology services with games like IBM Watson Rank and Retrieve will change the way interactive natural language games will be built.

The technologies used in the project are Bluemix platform that you can sign in for free, Docker containers for hosting the modded Spigot Minecraft server and Java Plugin development, Integration of Watson Dialog service that provide the question and answers extensible to a larger corpus as the game demands.

Minecraft is based on a building blocks approach providing the ability to create wonderful, imaginative things within the game played on the client device.

For a curious mind, with not much knowledge about a particular domain, the integration of Watson Cognitive services into the game that provides answers and assists in a conversational fashion enables kids to learn faster and new things. The capability of integrating cognitive services into games to realize new ideas adds a new dimension.

Learn more about Minecraft, server modding, plugin development and cloud services integration.

If you are in Las Vegas for IBM Interconnect 2016, drop by our Medical Minecraft Center Booth to learn about the cutting edge possibilities for game development; and if you have a developer mindset, join me in the lab session to learn how the integration works.


Mojang © 2009-2016. “Minecraft” is a trademark of Mojang Synergies AB

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