Super Mario is alive, and it's not some comic-con cosplay thing.
A group of researchers at the University of Tuebingen in Germany have given Mario an in-game AI that allows him not only to play the course of the game by himself, but to also learn either from experience or from voice commands.
Yes, you can talk-a to-a Mario.
The researchers used speech recognition software made at Carnegie Mellon, which made Mario understand vocal commands.
They've also given Mario the ability of emotion, so he can feel happy, or not so happy, depending on the situation.
Why would you give Mario feelings, you ask? For science, of course!
For instance, Mario is able to learn that jumping on a Goomba will kill it either by trying, or by listening to the voice of the player.
Mario is also able to plan ahead. When he's told to reach a difficult location on the map, he will assess the situation and figure out what needs to be done in order to fulfil his assignment.
Even though giving a usually player-controlled character AI might be considered a useless thing, it shows the potential of cognitive computing. For example, bosses in other games could learn from your behaviour and grow stronger and more resilient as the battle progresses.
The only downside to Mario is that his voice is currently closer to the text-to-speech software Anonymous uses, than to the English-Italian we might have expected.
Check out the video above to see the 'live' Mario in action.