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MIT-Designed Game Used To Train an AI System

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the i'm-sorry-dave-i-win-again dept.

AI 32

Ian Lamont writes "MIT Media Lab and the Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab have just released Improviso, an online game that is part of a research project to create a more realistic game AI. Improviso requires two players, a Lead Actor and Director, who pretend to shoot a low-budget science fiction movie about a government cover-up of aliens at Area 51. The goal of the project is to gather recorded improv from thousands of games, which can be used to train an AI system that will be able to play the role of NPCs. Jeff Orkin, the MIT researcher who led game development, says that the best time to play Improviso is between 7 pm and 10 pm. Orkin is also the creator of a game AI called goal oriented action programming, first used in F.E.A.R. in 2005 and later employed in F.E.A.R. 2 and Fallout 3."

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32 comments

Not a good plan (5, Funny)

Sparrow1492 (1962256) | more than 2 years ago | (#35513424)

So we're using first person shooters where the goal is to kill everything that looks like a human to help train AIs. This can only end well. . .

Re:Not a good plan (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#35514562)

Good joke and all, but not pertinent. I'm guessing you haven't read the summary.

Improviso requires two players, a Lead Actor and Director, who pretend to shoot a low-budget science fiction movie about a government cover-up of aliens at Area 51

Frankly, though, I'd rather have terminators genociding the hell out of us than getting stuck with an endless swarm of moviebots making Friedberg-Seltzer-like torture devices 24/7.

Re:Not a good plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35515412)

More like Uwe Boll-bots.

Fallout 3??? AI??? (1, Funny)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#35513464)

And suddenly I lost all interest in the project.

Re:Fallout 3??? AI??? (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 2 years ago | (#35515150)

Hehe, just what I was thinking. The enemies in Fallout 3 were pretty damn dumb even compared to some older games, unless of course their goal was defined as "run straight to the guy with the gun and die in a horribly overdone way by exploding in gore even though he shot your foot with a 9mm" in which case the AI performed wonderfully.

Timezone? (2)

Tigger's Pet (130655) | more than 2 years ago | (#35513538)

"Jeff Orkin says that the best time to play Improviso is between 7 pm and 10 pm". What timezone? Is he talking GMT or American time? If American then which one - don't they have 6? Maybe he's talking about Australian (unlikely as he works at MIT, but you never know).
Maybe it's supposed to be 7pm to 10 pm local time wherever in the world you are?

Re:Timezone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35513582)

Well, now that it's been posted to Slashdot, the best time to play is either now (higher public visibility) or not now (overloaded servers).

In other words, who knows.

Re:Timezone? (3, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35515300)

Your own time zone of course. This will spread the load of global visitors over the diurnal cycle.

Re:Timezone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35517204)

It would probably be better if you didn't.

trailer (1)

hotdoghead (1577461) | more than 2 years ago | (#35513572)

FTA: a really boring trailer. Most low-budget sci-fi movies I've seen were considerably more interesting than the trailer to this game. Skynet will be trained by the incredibly bored.

Whats up with the timing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35513576)

Have we explained to AI why its a good time to play between 7:00pm and 10:00pm?

Re:Whats up with the timing? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#35514360)

It's when they get time out. Those disposal units don't run night and day you know?!?!

And the obligatory... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35514192)

What do you expect from someone whose name is an anagram of 'jerkin off'?

More then AI (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#35514394)

I always thought the hard part about game AI was making an NPC work with the right level of crap.
A bot can shoot and hit its mark 99.999999% of the time. They know all the coordinates and states of the game and a programmer can add in some very standard code to win each time.

If we can just get over an NPC not getting stuck in wall and going mental when it gets stuck in a door then we will be happier.

Re:More then AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35521126)

That's one minor part of it. The hardest part is getting the AI to look like it's thinking about more than what it's currently involved in i.e. A plan or agenda. Also, cooperating intelligently when other AI are around is something that is hard to do right.

Re:More then AI (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about 3 years ago | (#35527496)

If they are trying to simulate people then the results will not be much better even if they get it 100% accurate. ;)
Watching untrained people fish about has been TV fodder for years. If they recreate that, then it will just be know computer "A".

Re:More then AI (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 3 years ago | (#35611166)

FPS bots have nothing to do with AI. When you've got access to exact coordinates, hitting is a matter of simple math. Making believable FPS bots it not a matter of making them intelligent, it's about disguising their superior data access. If you showed the bot the same rendered polygons that human players get to see, then it becomes a matter of intelligence.

AI is far more relevant in strategy games, and still practically unexplored in story driven CRPGs. And that last bit sounds a bit like what Improvisio might be about (but I haven't looked at it yet).

Poor Acronym (3, Funny)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 2 years ago | (#35514754)

I would have called it:

Goal Oriented Action Training System for Entertainment

Re:Poor Acronym (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#35515386)

I would have called it:

Goal Oriented Action Training System for Entertainment

I would have called it:
New and Improved State Machine, now with Function Pointers!
(some assembly required)

I don't know about you, but If I'm going to spend my time working for a game company helping to train their AI algorithms then I expect one or more of:

  • Reduced prices for games that use our crowd-sourced labor.
  • A paycheck of some sort -- Even in-game money or some exclusive perks would be better than nothing.
  • Open Source Code (if not AT release, then no more than 10 months afterwards, not 10 years later).
  • My name in the credits.

Come on people -- No matter how much you are told otherwise, Whitewashing Fences Is Not Fun [pbs.org], and even Jim required something in return for his efforts -- The returned pail full of water (a work trading barter system).

"So what's in it for me?", What's in it for you!? Well just let me tell you: You get the satisfaction of knowing you helped develop a game AI! That's a Reward in itself! Some people would actually pay for this privilege, but for a limited time we'll let you in on the deal for Free!

Later: As you stand before the store's game shelves holding a game-box in hand, contemplating purchase, you'll turn the box over. Next to the Havok logo will be this GOAP logo, that adds 10 bucks to the price of the game... That's right, you work for them, they charge you for your work -- Might as well pay you in negative company-store credits.

What's next? They have us play a new Kinect game where we act out the scenes displayed so they can crowd-source their motion capture too? Hint: I only consider working for free if a project is open source -- All others must pay.

Re:Poor Acronym (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#35517312)

I believe MIT had released a restaurant type game where yes, you do end up in the credits (you can either be a waiter or a customer). But that's it. I'm not sure what became of it though - I tried it briefly but never could find anyone online.

What's next? They have us play a new Kinect game where we act out the scenes displayed so they can crowd-source their motion capture too? Hint: I only consider working for free if a project is open source -- All others must pay.

Related, Microsoft released YooStar 2 [xbox.com] which, well, uses a Kinect to film you doing scenes in movies (the previous version used the Live Vision camera), so...

Re:Poor Acronym (1)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 2 years ago | (#35519100)

They are paying in the following currency: the interesting experience of logging into their server and pushing buttons.

Now lets wait to see if the labor market contains people who want that pay.

Goal-oriented action programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35514992)

Quake had that first. movetogoal(), bitches.

Best comeback I could muster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35515880)

On this scene, a goverment agent asks the reporter how did he find this crash site.
http://gambit.mit.edu/images/improviso5.jpg

If I were the director, the comeback would read: "Yo' mama told me."

What would be your snappy comeback?

Sounds pretty cool, but... (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 2 years ago | (#35517310)

The only thing I can think about is what will happen when /v/ hears about this.

Rob

Like this project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35527172)

I would like to be part of a team to test, play, and ply Improviso,. I am a curious kitten with little experience and not much free time drop, Ilsa Bartlett

Improviso v1.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35603442)

We have just release Improviso v1.1, responding to popular demands of players. We have added a Play-As-You-Wait feature, and are working on a Mac OSX version. Download HERE: http://gambit.mit.edu/improviso

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