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New Gameplay, Old AI [2015]

12 Feb 2015

How can we create human-like companions who project personality and emotions? How can we tell stories that adapt to player choices? How can we author character dialogue that varies based on context and memories? For many years, game developers have focused AI efforts on basic competencies, such as navigation and action-selection. As solutions to these low-level problems have converged, developer cycles are becoming free to refocus on new challenges. While specific solutions to these hard problems continue to evolve, there is a gold mine of potentially fruitful ideas in the pages of past research. Decades ago the fathers of AI and related fields introduced ideas that today are more relevant than ever to making games — Minsky, Schank, Kautz, Bruner, Searle, and others. Revisiting some of this early work can shed light on how to represent adaptive stories, how emotion effects behavior, how characters can anticipate a player’s needs, and seamlessly interweave dialogue with actions in context. This session will highlight a variety of classic works in AI, cognitive science, and the philosophy of language that potentially hold the keys to unlocking new gameplay experiences.

About Jeff Orkin

Jeff Orkin is Co-founder and CTO of GiantOtter. GiantOtter continues work Jeff began during his PhD at the MIT Media Lab, focused on simulating social interaction and dialogue from crowdsourced data. Prior to MIT, Jeff spent a decade working in the videogame industry. At Monolith Productions, Jeff led the development of award winning Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems for No One Lives Forever 2 (Computer Games Magazine: Best AI 2002) and F.E.A.R. (Gamespot.com: Best AI 2005). Jeff has served as a Contributing Author and Section Editor of the AI Game Programming Wisdom book series, and Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games. Jeff regularly speaks at academic and industry conferences, and has published 25+ peer-reviewed articles about AI. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Washington and Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Tufts University with a minor in Studio Art.

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