We Come In Peace
Today, I attended a speech panel at Kent State University that discussed the practical and moral reasons for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The NEOACM Chapter hosted the panel. With Cameron Hughes as the Panel Host and Stuart Johnson, Paul Carlson, Nicholas Wagner, Mark Vopat, Pooyan Fazli and Sven Koenig as the panelists, the conversation was excellent.
They talked about the moral dilemmas and positive effects that AI will have on the world, how it will effect the human factor of being human and even went a little bit into the availability of work and jobs since AI will be taking many of our service jobs.
One thing I never thought about was that AI will not necessarily be taking jobs away, but creating the opportunity for new jobs to appear and become available. During a time when everyone was a farmer, the industrial revolution happened. Now we a whole lot of technology and engineer jobs, a lot less farmer jobs and plenty of food. So, just like Y2K was not the end of the world, I think that AI will help us human, rather than hinder.
The other issue that stuck in my head, was what about the people effect. At least that’s what I call it. The people effect, is in general, people don’t except things as they are. They like to tinker, hack and modify things to be their own. My best example is cell phones. In general , most people will take the phone and use it like they are supposed to.
Most people use the certified apps, put the recommended settings and use cases. They follow the directions and do what they are supposed to do with their phones. Then you get people like me, who root their phones, write uncertified apps for phones, and in general like to experiment. Lastly, you have the people who like to hack into other people’s phone, either for fun or to be malicious.
I brought that aspect up, because I was curious if they were thinking about that factor when it comes to releasing the use of AI to us consumers, whether for the self driving cars or for the next nanny bot (no, the nanny bot doesn’t exist yet). I received a brief answer which was, they are aware of that as a possible issue, but do not know of a way to keep it 100% preventable. Which, I agreed with their answer. Even if they did have a solution, a new problem would come about.
So, on to the game development reason for writing this.
What Does This AI Have to Do with Game Development?
I know, I make video games. So what do the practical and moral reasons for Artificial Intelligence have to do with game development?
Well, I’m glad you asked. When you are playing a video game, most notably a first person shooter, and an enemy comes at you with all of its might, that enemy is a scripted AI.
Video game AI is not so different from the AI that the scientists and engineers are working on down at Honda, it’s just that they are using a physical medium rather than a digital medium.
Currently, Artificial Intelligence in video games is mostly a cause and effect system. For instance, the player is in spot X. The AI is in spot Y and is listening for the player to come within shooting range of the area that the AI is assigned to guard. Once the player is in the AI’s assigned guarding area, the AI will (try to) avoid obstacles and respond as humanly as possible.
What the advances of AI can help us with are for the NPCs to obviously act more human. Which basically means, no more neverending wall faced runs, a better timed response to a player entering the AI’s guard area, and better reaction to the terrain and obstacles around the AI.
Some other advances, outside of a FPS, would be story based games, alloying people to be able to give the answer they want, rather than selecting 1 of 4 pre-chosen optional answers, and then the AI being able to respond in a humanistic way, instead of just responding to the choices.
That kind of technology seems so close, but it is difficult to simulate a human. By accident, a programmer could give an Artificially Intelligent system a biased opinion. The other issue, is teaching AI the difference between right and wrong. Right and wrong is not as simple as you might think since those type of moral decisions and opinions are a community based opinion. For instance, the right way to deal with a prisoner in America, is much different in other countries.
Anyways, that’s just a little snippet of Artificial Intelligence. I look forward to what AI will offer my future, and the future for generations to come.
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