The cognitive modelling team at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen have put together a video showcasing their work so far. In the snappily-titled 'Mario Lives! An Adaptive Learning AI Approach for Generating a Living and Conversing Mario Agent', the eponymous plumber is seen answering questions about what he has learned from his experiences in Super Mario World.
The autonomous AI Mario is shown learning from his environment, and making decisions based upon his needs. If he's hungry he'll "eat" coins, and if he's scared or threatened he'll attack enemies - after learning how best to do so.
"If I jump on a Goomba it certainly dies," says the semi-aware Mario when asked.
At best, soon we shall no longer need to play our games, as our games shall play themselves. At worst, we can't help but find ourselves extrapolating from all of this a terrifying Terminator-like scenario whereby Mario becomes entirely self-aware, and attempts to take over the world.
If you are prepared to risk the nightmares, you can watch the video below.