Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Human AI Bots and Gooey Architecture

I am not sure what brings these two little pieces of news together, maybe it is their lack of overlapping spheres of influence that prompted this post.

Human AI Bots
The idea of programming bots in computer games is nothing new, making them act like humans is no doubt important for game creators as well as the seedier underbelly of bot makers. The 2K BotPrize competition has been running with Unreal Tournament (UT2004) since 2008, challenging programmers to make bots act like human players. This year they have 2 winners, both clocking up more points than many actual human players.

[UT2004 bots going at it via the UTexas News]

The article on ArsTechnica covers the winners: computer scientist Mihai Polceanu and a team from the University of Texas as well as more of the details. For me, the next step is to encompass all the elements that a player can do in a game (even if we don't have all the chat possibilities, there should be some rudimentary coverage of this). I wonder how many selfless acts the bots performed, they were probably free-for-all games, can we tell more with a 'better' game with more scope to judge. Maybe it is easier to make a human-like opponent for online chess than it is to make one for a modern MMO - just because the number of options at any point is so much greater...

Melty Architecture
There is something very tactile looking (perhaps tasty) about this Visitor's Centre by French artists Christophe Berdaguer and Marie PĂ©jus. The DeZeen article details some of the thinking behind the very organic result - it looks like we dipped the old house in heated marshmallow before plonking it in the French landscape.

[Gue(ho)st House via DeZeen]

I am sure many people wont like this, but I think it is plenty of fun and certainly looks cool in its pristine white state against the blue sky and green grass.

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