Image: Viktor Tóth

A Feinstein Institutes neuroengineer by the name of Viktor Tóth has reportedly succeeded in teaching a group of rats how to play DOOM II, id Software’s classic 1994 shooter.

As explained by Tóth in a viral Medium article, the rodents were trained using an inexpensive VR setup (less than $2,000), the bulk of which comprises a large polystyrene ball that the rats can run on to move Doomguy through the game’s now-archaic corridors. A little tube that gives sugary water as a treat for rewarding “correct” behaviors can also be seen in a video shared by Tóth.

Tóth told science and technology outlet Futurism in a recent interview that he is considering starting a Twitch channel to make some money off of his work and confirm that rats are intelligent enough to “play” first-person shooters.

“Yes, I think so,” Tóth said when asked whether he had any plans to start streaming. “I think it’s a very valid way to monetize a project like this. The only problem is how long the rat can run for.”

“I had Romero running for 15 minutes one time, which was great. That was crazy because he was doing it for so long and didn’t get tired or want to get off. So if you can actually get the rat to a point where it actually expresses a curiosity in the game, then it could get really interesting.”

“If you could get to that point and rats would actually ‘play’ for 10 or 20 minutes straight, then yeah. Twitch streaming would be a very valid way to get this in front of people.”

Source: Viktor Tóth (via Futurism)

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3 Comments

  1. That rat is probably better than I am at it too

    *edit

    Also, is it the scientists, or the rat, who is considering starting a twitch channel?

    /s

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