Thursday, October 21, 2004

Serious Games: The Darwinian World of Game AI: The Current State of Human-Level Artificial Intelligence in Computer Simulations and Wargames 

All presentation slideshows will be available online within a few days at http://www.seriousgamessummit.com/.

Dr. Ezra Sidran

A great introduction to AI in general and how AI is being used in gaming with a special focus on 2-player, zero sum games (always a loser and a winner). Such games include: chess, checker, tic-tac-toe and, according to Sidran, most war games.

In general, AI techniques attempt to draw a decision tree and then minimize the number of interesting branches in the same decision tree. This approach allowed Big Blue to defeat Gary Kasparov.

For me Sidran’s biggest mistake is to treat war as a 2-player zero sum game. A zero sum game implies that the winner wipes out the opponent. There has rarely been in history wars where the losing party was completely eliminated. In most cases, the loser surrenders before being wiped out. It is also unrealistic, especially in today’s world to think that a “2-player war” is not affected by other entities such as the international community. Iraq is an obvious example…

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