It can mean "any", but in the context of a negative sense, such as "not any". Unfortunately Duolingo doesn't always make this distinction, translating words like nessuno, niente and nulla to "any" or "anything" in pairing exercises and word hints, when really they mean the opposite: "nothing", "not any", "not anything".
When niente is used to mean anything, it's typically in a sense that could be reworded in the negative and still have the same meaning.
Do you want/need anything?
Is there nothing you want/need?
I can't do anything.
There is nothing I can do.
If a native speaker can provide any exceptions, where these words are actually used in a strictly positive sense, I'd be interested to hear them.