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Two Teams Win the BotPrize

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-make-them-swear-a-lot-over-xbox-live dept.

AI 56

An anonymous reader writes "For the past five years, the 2K BotPrize has challenged artificial intelligence researchers and programmers to create a computer-game-playing bot that plays like a person. It's one thing to make bots that play computer games very well — computers are faster and more accurate than a person can ever be — but it's a different thing to make bots that are fun to play against. In a breakthrough result, after years of striving and improvement from 14 different international teams from nine countries, two teams have crossed the humanness barrier! The teams share $7000 in prize money and a trip to games company 2K's Canberra studio. The winners are the UT^2 team from the University of Texas at Austin, and Mihai Polceanu, a doctoral student from Romania, currently studying Artificial Intelligence at ENIB CERV — Centre de Réalité Virtuelle, Brest, France. The UT^2 team is Professor Risto Miikulainen, and doctoral students Jacob Schrum and Igor Karpov. The bots created by the two teams both achieved a humanness rating of 52%, easily exceeding the average humanness rating of the human players, at 40%. It is especially fitting that the prize has been won in the 2012 Alan Turing Centenary Year. The famous Turing test — where a computer has to have a conversation with a human, and pretends to be another human — was the inspiration for the BotPrize competition. Where to now for human-like bots? Next year we hope to propose a new and exciting challenge for game playing bot creators to push their technologies to the next level of human-like performance."

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56 comments

What we can say for CERTAIN!! Dare you argue! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349851)

These teams have NO BLACK PEOPLE as members. Yeah just TRY to PROVE me wrong. Whatsamatter? Can't do it? Not up to the task? Feeling insecure in teh face of TRUTH?! Just mod me down then. That is what all the other PC asshole liberals do when they cannot use facts.

Re:What we can say for CERTAIN!! Dare you argue! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349937)

There are two fascinating things about the parent post.

One of them is that I have just realized how to pass a Turing test -- just have your program pretend to be a frothing nutcase. Technically, that counts as human, but apparently it relieves you of the normal human requirement that your utterances be appropriate to the context, which is really the hardest part of passing the Turing test.

The other is that someone apparently modded it up.

Re:What we can say for CERTAIN!! Dare you argue! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350143)

There are two fascinating things about the parent post.

One of them is that I have just realized how to pass a Turing test -- just have your program pretend to be a frothing nutcase. Technically, that counts as human, but apparently it relieves you of the normal human requirement that your utterances be appropriate to the context, which is really the hardest part of passing the Turing test.

The other is that someone apparently modded it up.

the real qiestion is, do they mod it down to -1 because they do not understand it, or because they are too chickensshit to enjoy the rea thing NIGGA!!

Re:What we can say for CERTAIN!! Dare you argue! (3, Interesting)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350147)

One of them is that I have just realized how to pass a Turing test -- just have your program pretend to be a frothing nutcase.

I've heard that the program most often mistaken for a human was frequently rude and nasty to its correspondents.

Re:What we can say for CERTAIN!! Dare you argue! (1)

morcego (260031) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350221)

One of them is that I have just realized how to pass a Turing test -- just have your program pretend to be a frothing nutcase.

I've heard that the program most often mistaken for a human was frequently rude and nasty to its correspondents.

Actually, that was me. Sorry about the mistake, stupid. :D

Re:What we can say for CERTAIN!! Dare you argue! (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350027)

Well if these teams have no black people, I guess we can conclude that only white people have no game and therefore need bots.

Plays like a person (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349855)

Can't have been too hard to make a bot that spews random obscenities and anti-gay/misogonistic comments, while randomly firing bullets into team members and tea-bagging you when you die.

That gets you up to what, 75%?

Re:Plays like a person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349963)

Depends.
If it's supposed to emulate you, it's probably more like 100%.

No Response (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350023)

I would respond but your post failed to pass the Turing test, the Rorschach test, the Sniff test and frankly even your STD test scores are looking a bit sketchy.

Re:No Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350231)

Not used to clean STD tests eh?

Re:No Response (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41353631)

Well, not from AC users, no. You generally have more to hide than just am inability to pick good user ID's.

Re:Plays like a person (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350037)

Can't have been too hard to make a bot that spews random obscenities and anti-gay/misogonistic comments, while randomly firing bullets into team members and tea-bagging you when you die.

That gets you up to what, 75%?

Yeah they only include the good and decent humans, the ones that vocally dislike the ridiculously PC-favored and incompetent gays and bitches rather than stone, hang, or otherwise kill them. To get to 100% they would have to include the culturally insane who kill people because their long dead criminal pedophile "prophet" was an asshole, and also the suicidal PC hypocrites who suck them off while they commit demographic genocide.

One day all mohammedanuses will simply vanish in a puff of smoke and "politician" will be the name of a certain kind of rotting fruit :)

Re:Plays like a person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41353321)

Luckily for us, this competition specifically excludes any language communication.

Who needs friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349885)

If you have bots with better personality that real persons to play with?

The Ultimate Man Cave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350003)

Elite game-playing bots embedded into RealDolls.

Just because. (4, Funny)

khasim (1285) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349899)

The UT^2 team is Professor Risto Miikulainen, and doctoral students Jacob Schrum and Igor Karpov.

IGOR! I need a new brain for the robot!

Re:Just because. (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year and a half ago | (#41352069)

Master? Can I change your mind? I like abynormal so much better.

No Igor, you can't change my mind. I just changed it and want you to bend over and take it like a bot

They have just invented artificial unintelligence (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41349929)

... great.

I like this kind of progress. (1)

aurashift (2037038) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349955)

While it may lack in variety, I often prefer to spend what little time I do have to play games in skirmish offline or against bots. I find that better than dealing with most of the bullshit online. Yeah I know your counterargument, if I spent more time finding good players or servers it isn't really a problem. I just don't want to. Bots don't go berserk or disconnect or lack (albeit often predictable once you've played a game enough) skills, or any of the other usual multiplayer complaints.

Hey, a real thought! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350049)

I often prefer to spend what little time I do have to play games in skirmish offline or against bots. I find that better than dealing with most of the bullshit online.

I used to play Unreal Tournament a lot. I liked to play online, there was a lot of bullshit but in the end I just felt like playing against bots was too fake.

I don't know why that is, because I love many single player games where essentially I'm playing a whole game against bots and carefully tuned algorithms meant to fool me into thinking I "beat" something that could have had me easily had the "Mercy" setting been turned down to 0. But I just never could get into playing any game that was normally played against (or with) other people using bots.

Perhaps making the multiplayer bots more "human" will bring in the elusive element that made me dislike FPS bots.

Re:"Mercy" setting been turned down to 0 (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year and a half ago | (#41351431)

Some of the old classic arcades had this option. I was a passable midline Mortal Kombat II-III player before I retired from most video games. A couple of fun local shops had the setting on medium. On a good day you could beat the game with a couple of bucks. Then on road trips some of the other shop owners were greedy and cranked the difficulty setting, and that became NO FUN AT ALL. I don't recall the specifics, but a couple of the characters just got way too fast with the Throw maneuvers, Goro and Motaro got out of control, and another couple characters were zinging turbo combos that were actually kinda impressively-depressive, but only worth a buck in amazement before you just walked away.

humanness score (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349969)

easily exceeding the average humanness rating of the human players, at 40%.

Whoa! Who woulda thunk that playing computer games makes people less humann?

Re:humanness score (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349981)

Finally, a story I can tag "morehumanthanhuman" and have the tag be a literal statement.

Neural Networks (1)

steppedleader (2490064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41349995)

I wonder if part of how they did this used human game play to train a neural network. A quick google of the idea makes it seem like that is plausible and has been done in at least one study, but I don't know if it is a widely used AI technique or not.

Re:Neural Networks (1)

steppedleader (2490064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350125)

It looks like someone else has taken tech like that and done something geared toward finding biomedical applications for it. The ideas and experiments in this abstract [ieee.org] could perhaps be useful as a building block for some sort of basic tricorder. Reading the body's reaction to drugs and stress, screening neuropsych deficits, and possibly lots more by just simply scanning them with one single machine? That's Star Trek stuff.

Re:Neural Networks (1)

kumanopuusan (698669) | about a year and a half ago | (#41357087)

It's hard to imagine that naively training a neural network with input from human players could produce play that's more characteristically human than those players.
I'm not saying that these teams were limited to simple techniques, just that using a neural network isn't the "secret sauce/"

cocks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350103)

in ur face fgt

What's next? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350123)

If a bot can be "more human" than actual humans, what's next?

Robot Love!

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350133)

Dont' date robots!

Re:What's next? (1)

yndrd1984 (730475) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350429)

That propaganda film never works. You should show him "Electro-Gonorrhea, the Noisy Killer".

On the contrary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350159)

As a Cerebro-Cyberneticist, I think what's next is not more human like bots, but more bot-like humans...

40% humanness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350191)

Shouldn't humans have 100% humanness? Sorta by definition?

Re:40% humanness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350211)

I suppose if humanness is a measure of how often the entity is identified as human by people it makes sense. Just means that people are bad at identifying people online. Note I didn't RTFA as the color scheme made me throw up a bit.

If Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350193)

Have a humanness rating of 40%, then your scoring function is probably not very accurate.

All hail the Tyrell corporation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350197)

More human than human is our motto!

Turing test complete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41350227)

What language is more human than violence?

So either the bots are very human (4, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350229)

...or the judges are very bad at distinguishing human from bot. One interesting thing to note is that lower skill default bots were rated quite highly on the "humanness" rating (higher than the average for humans), which might suggest the judges thought human players are worse than bots. The default bots "humanness" average was only slightly below the average for the actual human players (~37% vs ~41%), which suggests the methodology is a little questionable. If you can't distinguish the default, "non-humanized" bots from actual humans, how would you expect to distinguish bots that have been intended to be "humanized"?

Re:So either the bots are very human (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350603)

UT bots were always designed with the goal to feel human, altough playing a lot against them would teach you the way they work. But it's not nearly as easy as distinguishing between a chatbot and a person. For example, sometimes even grandmasters get fooled by amateurs cheating with the help of a chessbot, because it's very hard to differentiate between a computer and a human playing a game.

Re:So either the bots are very human (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#41351321)

I think the problem is that some of the better players I've played against in my day play quite a lot like robots. They know the map very well, they follow a defined path making sure to hit every power-up. They know the hiding spots and always check them. They make seemingly impossible impossibly jumps and never miss a step. They aren't really fun to play against either.

Mitt the twit or the bot? (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350311)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/opinion/sunday/kristof-the-foreign-relations-fumbler.html [nytimes.com]

"Mitt Romney spent the last week blowing up his foreign policy credentials to be president"

Is Mitt a twit or actually a candidate for the BotPrize? Would Mitt stand a Turing test?

Opposite Day (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41353667)

Nice, Obama brags about killing Bin Laden and kills four embassy workers as a result (including a renowned EVE player), and YOU complain about ROMNEY's foreign policy?

Romney is a genius compared to "Watch the Middle East Crumble" Obama.

Here's a thought, I'll bet Romney could figure out you just might want to guard a U.S. Embassy in Libya with more than a single EVE player.

I'm also pretty sure Romney would not be arresting film makers no matter what subject matter they used. But if you hate free speech, by all means keep voting for your super awesome Obama so that within the next four years we can have a full-out war with the middle east.

Re:Opposite Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41356045)

"Nice, Obama brags about killing Bin Laden and kills four embassy workers as a result (including a renowned EVE player), and YOU complain about ROMNEY's foreign policy?"

Well, Obama didn't insult his allies yet, or?

"Romney is a genius compared to "Watch the Middle East Crumble" Obama."

Middle East has crumbled since WWII. No president has made any substantial progress, ever.

"Here's a thought, I'll bet Romney could figure out you just might want to guard a U.S. Embassy in Libya with more than a single EVE player."

I'm dumbfounded by the lack of guards 10 pm, in Benghazi of all places. Still, you can't blame a president for errors at all and any levels. I don't blame the previous president for 9/11 either. When the shit hits the fan it can blow your way.

Look at the consulate! http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/sep/13/us-consulate-attack-benghazi-interactive
It is a simple house! Someone made a fatal error in choosing that site. Incredible.

"I'm also pretty sure Romney would not be arresting film makers no matter what subject matter they used."

Hmmm. Don't be too sure on that arrest. From http://wtvr.com/2012/09/15/filmmaker-linked-to-anti-islam-movie-sparks-riots-in-over-20-countries/ "Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Southern California filmmaker, is linked to an anti-Islam movie that sparked deadly protests in the Muslim world. Federal authorities are trying to figure out if the 55- year-old’s reported involvement violated a condition of his parole. Nakoula was convicted of bank fraud and is banned from using the internet. He denies a connection to the film. “He was never in handcuffs. He was never arrested, never detained. It was all voluntary,” said LA County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore."

So, he is still a free man I guess.

"But if you hate free speech, by all means keep voting for your super awesome Obama so that within the next four years we can have a full-out war with the middle east."

Full-out war in the Middle East? Look at Syria, there are many forces trying to stop that war from spreading. We live in very complex times, as usual. /G

It takes one to know one, apparently. (3, Interesting)

Dean Edmonds (189342) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350499)

I find it interesting that the ordering of judges on the "Most human humans" list is the exact opposite of those on the "Best human judges" list. So the more robotic a judge appeared to others, the better they were able to recognize the true bots in the games. A great example of "it takes one to know one".

Re:It takes one to know one, apparently. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41403857)

(oops! sounds like double fallacy, I would consider the Hindu to be the less Human which means playing the worse, while Human would strive to play perfect so most Human bot has to play imperfectly, etc.)

Easy game to fake it (2)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350527)

Ut2004 is a chaotic game. Very bot friendly especially since you never see a player's perspective (judging was done in game using a tag gun). I'd be more impressed if a bot could recreate the muscle memory twitch and intelligence of a counterstrike player via the first person perspective.

the prize is a trip to Canberra? (3, Informative)

geoffaus (623283) | about a year and a half ago | (#41350639)

Dear winners, Please dont judge Australia by what you see in Canberra. Its a soul sucking dreadful place. And its also full of our federal politicians. Please escape and go somewhere good - there are lots of great places in Australia. Canberra is not one of them.

Re:the prize is a trip to Canberra? (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#41351085)

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a reference to Godwin's Law approaches 1

Didn't Hitler say that?

Re:the prize is a trip to Canberra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41351525)

I live near the 2k studios - ignore this idiot, Canberra is a great place to live, just not a particularly exciting for visitors.

Re:the prize is a trip to Canberra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41357617)

Dear winners, please don't judge Canberra by what other australians think. It is a nice place, a small, modern city surrounded by parks and bushland. Our population of over 300,000 is made up of normal people, who happen to have a higher standard of education and a higher average income than the rest of Australia. There are only 500 federal politicians here, and they don't mingle with the rest of the population much.

There are lots of great places in Australia, and Canberra is a great place. People who live here like it - the only drawback is having to listen to retards trying to give it a bad name.

Re:the prize is a trip to Canberra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41357893)

Ignore the archaic running joke that some people from other states in Australia have denigrating it's capital, the poster was probably quite grumpy after having to get up at 4am on Sunday morning in order to be able to drive through the Sydney traffic and actually make it to work on time.

Anyway as others have already said It's an attractive, modern, small, safe, well planned city that incorporates bushland and parks in a way that makes it a great place to live.

As a place to visit you would probably get through all the tourist attractions in a weekend, so plan on then visiting one of the larger cities such as Melbourne or Sydney (Melbourne in my opinion is a much nicer place, but Sydney has the iconic Harbor bridge/opera house etc).

Re:the prize is a trip to Canberra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41357913)

Grand prize: a week's holiday. Second prize: TWO weeks.

You mean they play like NOOBs? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41351503)

The one defining characteristic of human players in most multiplayer games is that 70% or so are completely clueless about tactics, strategy and teamwork. Add some insulting behavior to that, and you have the perfect emulation of a human player...

source for one of the winning entries (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41353339)

You can download the source for the UT^2 bot entry (written in Java using the Pogamut framework) from http://nn.cs.utexas.edu/?ut2 . The bot has a modular behavior architecture and uses evolved neural network controllers for some of its behaviors and a playback of human game traces (available as a separate download) for others.

Summary lacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41384413)

The summary doesn't say what game the bots were playing!

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