Video games have been using sophisticated AI techniques for decades. Long before many other fields looked to solve their problems using intelligent agents, planning algorithms, and complex computer opponents, video games used AI to drive everything from area design to navigation to enemies to conversation and planning.
Paris Buttfield-Addison, Mars Geldard, and Tim Nugent offer an overview of the history of AI in video games and explain how the needs that drove AI advancement in the game development world map to almost-identical problems in the real world. The ideas that have been used in video games for years are only just making their way into other fields, and the knowledge and learning experiences of video game development can help the progress of applying AI to the software world at large.
Paris Buttfield-Addison is a cofounder of Secret Lab, a game development studio based in beautiful Hobart, Australia. Secret Lab builds games and game development tools, including the multi-award-winning ABC Play School iPad games, the BAFTA- and IGF-winning Night in the Woods, the Qantas airlines Joey Playbox games, and the Yarn Spinner narrative game framework. Previously, Paris was a mobile product manager for Meebo (acquired by Google). Paris particularly enjoys game design, statistics, blockchain, machine learning, and human-centered technology research and writes technical books on mobile and game development (more than 20 so far) for O’Reilly. He holds a degree in medieval history and a PhD in computing.
Tim Nugent pretends to be a mobile app developer, game designer, tools builder, researcher, and tech author. When he isn’t busy avoiding being found out as a fraud, Tim spends most of his time designing and creating little apps and games he won’t let anyone see. He also spent a disproportionately long time writing his tiny little bio, most of which was taken up trying to stick a witty sci-fi reference in…before he simply gave up. He’s currently writing Practical Artificial Intelligence with Swift for O’Reilly and building a game for a power transmission company about a naughty quoll (a quoll is an Australian animal).
Marina Rose Geldard (Mars) is a technologist from Down Under in Tasmania. Entering the world of technology relatively late as a mature-age student, she has found her place in the world: an industry where she can apply her lifelong love of mathematics and optimization. She compulsively volunteers at industry events, dabbles in research, and serves on the executive committee for her state’s branch of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) as well as the AUC. She’s currently writing Practical Artificial Intelligence with Swift for O’Reilly and working on machine learning projects to improve public safety through public CCTV cameras in her hometown of Hobart.
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