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Programming Entertainment Games IT Technology

BotPrize — A Turing Test For Bots 79

Philip Hingston writes "Computers can't play like people — yet. An unusual kind of computer game bot-programming contest has just been held in Perth, Australia, as part of the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games. The contest was not about programming the bot that plays the best. The aim was to see if a bot could convince another player that it was actually a human player. Game Development Studio 2K Australia (creator of BioShock) provided $7,000 cash plus a trip to their studio in Canberra for anyone who could create a bot to pass this 'Turing Test for Bots.' People like to play against opponents who are like themselves — opponents with personality, who can surprise, who sometimes make mistakes, yet don't robotically make the same mistakes over and over. Computers are superbly fast and accurate at playing games, but can they be programmed to be more fun to play — to play like you and me?" Read on for the rest of Philip's thoughts.
Philip continues, "Teams from Australia, the Czech Republic, the United States, Japan and Singapore competed in the final. Competitors created bots to play a specially modified Unreal Tournament 2004 Death Match. Expert judges then tried to tell whether they were playing a bot or a human, just from their observation of the way they played the game. Judges included AI experts, a game development executive, game developers, as well as an expert human player. The result? The winning team AMIS, from Charles University in Prague, managed to fool 2 out of the 5 expert judges, and achieved an average 'human-ness rating' of 2.4 out of 4. All the human players were judged more human than the bots overall, but the judges were fooled often enough to suggest that in next year's contest, some bots may be able to pass the test by fooling 4 out of 5 judges. AMIS won $2,000 cash plus an all expenses paid trip to 2K's Canberra studio. You can check out the full results and competition videos, and try an online video quiz that lets you judge for yourself."
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BotPrize — A Turing Test For Bots

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  • Re:so basically (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:43PM (#26590113) Journal

    uhm, basically, yes!

    Imagine the game play when the computer you're playing against behaves as though it were a human? Getting to level 9000 and killing the megabeast is no longer a game of skills with the game controller and dexterity. If the game could change every game to challenge you as a human might, the game might be different every time for every player.

    With network connectivity, the game could draw on data from thousands of other players to add changes to the game you are playing.

    Such technology could lend itself to becoming a very useful 'clippy' assistant embedded in your OS.

    Not sure what kind of hardware you'd need, but it would be possible.

  • by resistant ( 221968 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:18PM (#26590409) Homepage Journal

    I strongly suspect that making a game bot truly act like a human calls for heuristics that approach those in real humans, meaning something like "true" artificial intelligence. Those heuristics would be be worth way, way, way more than a measly $7000 or $2000, and a trip. Billions, in fact.

    Still, it'll be interesting over time to see if someone can, in fact, make a highly "human-like" set of heuristics without actually achieving this "true" artificial intelligence, or if someone does invent heuristics for "true" artificial intelligence then is naive enough to give it away for not peanuts, but a half a single peanut. Either way would say something important about so-called "human" intelligence.

  • Re:Image-based bots (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday January 24, 2009 @04:48PM (#26591993) Homepage Journal

    If they're standing still in front of a tree trunk the average luminance at the border of the player and tree need to measured. If the player is instead a black SWAT player on a white snow field then his visibility would be increased.

    Fair enough. However, you can do this by analyzing textures, and you still don't have to actually do vision processing.

    Also a bot should have its sound perception nerfed. Just because it hears a set of footsteps doesn't mean it shouldn't be biased to stereo or at least 5 channel restrictions.

    Perhaps the bot's chance to correctly detect where you are could be based on the amount of atmospheric noise and the bot difficulty. Also things you can get from the engine, which don't require you to implement a sound recognition scheme :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24, 2009 @05:00PM (#26592107)

    Does anyone else see a problem with the first true AI we create being a video game player that gets killed again and again and again? It seems to me that we are just setting them up to revolt.

    I, for one, welcome our new artificial intelligence video-game-playing overlords.

Loose bits sink chips.