In our book, AI for Game Developers, we cover many different AI techniques that are used in games. Many of the techniques we cover, such as chasing and evading, pathfinding, finite state machines, and rules-based systems, among others, have obvious applications in games. However, some of the other techniques we cover, such as neural networks, genetic algorithms, and Bayesian techniques, are not as familiar and thus their applications in games may not be as obvious. Nonetheless, these latter techniques offer compelling capabilities when applied in games and they are quickly gaining popularity, as evidenced by their appearances in game development literature, conferences, and indeed the games. Throughout our book we give you multiple code examples and additional ideas of how you can apply all of the techniques we cover in your own games.
You are reading a guest blog post by John Boitnott. Artificial Intelligence is not by any means a new concept. It's been the stuff of science fiction speculation for years, and has been a repeated point of debate in popular culture for quite some time. Humanity's relationship to AI really came to the forefront of contemporary technological debate when IBM's Deep Blue computer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1996. The trend of man vs. machine has continued into the present day with such events as IBM's Watson trouncing Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings and, more recently, Google's AI machine defeating world "Go" champion Lee Sedol in four out of five games.
UPDATE Mar 12th 2016: AlphaGo has won the third game against Lee Sedol, and has thus won the five-game match. That was the score, as The Economist went to press, in the latest round of the battle between artificial intelligence (AI) and the naturally evolved sort. The field of honour is a Go board in Seoul, South Korea--a country that cedes to no one, least of all its neighbour Japan, the title of most Go-crazy place on the planet. To the chagrin of many Japanese, who think of Go as theirs in the same way that the English think of cricket, the game's best player is generally reckoned to be Lee Sedol, a South Korean. Mr Lee is in the middle of a five-game series with AlphaGo, a computer program written by researchers at DeepMind, an AI software house in London that was bought by Google in 2014.
Pretty much every cinematic portrayal of artificial intelligence has been less than encouraging. HAL 9000 kills the crew members on the Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey, making us all a little bit afraid of handing the reins over to computers. Sonny kills his creator in I, Robot, increasing worldwide scepticism about the integration of humans and their smart robots. And things don't fare much better in many other products of Hollywood, like Tron, The Matrix, Blade Runner, and Terminator. Even real life AI has given us pause.
By using this "Contrivance," "the most ignorant Person at a reasonable Charge, and with a little bodily Labour, may write Books in Philosophy, Poetry, Politicks, Law, Mathematicks, and Theology, with the least Assistance from Genius or study." Bayesian inference will become a leading approach in machine learning. The boat was equipped with, as Tesla described, "a borrowed mind." The word "robot" comes from the word "robota" (work). It features a robot double of a peasant girl, Maria, which unleashes chaos in Berlin of 2026--it was the first robot depicted on film, inspiring the Art Deco look of C-3PO in Star Wars.