Procedural theater

People who do research into “serious” artificial intelligence generally turn their noses up at “game artificial intelligence” — the discipline of creating interactive computer game characters and worlds that convey the illusion of intelligence.

After all, academic A.I. researchers investigate hard problems such as problem solving, algorithmic reasoning, synthetic vision, navigation in unknown environments and data-driven machine learning.

Whereas game A.I. is just about making games more fun. You can practically see the noses go up in the air.

But this sort of hierarchical ranking misses something essential. Namely, that game A.I. is, at heart, a branch of the arts — an aesthetic form first and foremost.

And this means that game A.I. is something unique and exciting in our culture: It is the closest thing we have to a truly procedural theater.

One thought on “Procedural theater”

  1. I don’t see why people turn up their noses at game AI… It is an incredibly nuanced and difficult problem that would be extremely rewarding for anyone who could make significant headway on it. A video game opponent who felt like it was challenging you by legitimately out-thinking you rather than abusing the advantages of being a machine with full information about the game would revolutionize the entire gaming industry.

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