Research Kickstart

[Research] (10.06.06, 12:44 am)

I would like to kick off my research entries with short description of what my research interests are, why I’ve chosen them, and how I want to connect them with existing domains. I also want this post category to work for reading summaries for the many and various journals, books, and papers that I’ll be reading to support my endeavor.

The main focus of my research is on AI based characters, and the simulation of social behavior between them. The primary target for this research is games, because I think that games are the best situation for people to engage with AI based characters. Ultimately, I would like the fruit of the research to be a small testbed where a player can interact with several characters, each of which has their own goals and interests, and those characters will interact with each other as well as with the player. Think a combination between Facade, and The Sims. There are several reasons why I’m interested in social behavior. One is because the AI for game characters currently is terrible, and it would do a lot to improve games if the characters had lives beyond the interaction of the player. Secondly, simulating social behavior among AI based characters can lead to several hard models of social structure that may be useful outside of a pure game setting. This is interesting because the resulting behavior among the agents can be changed based on the social rules in place, and it will be interesting to experiment with different rule systems to see what changes ensue. This is of great bearing in the sense of cultural theory, because the embedded patterns and affordances of the models (and the simulation software itself) will manifest in the resulting social worlds.

Because DM is a Digital Media program, much of what I’ll be doing will involve connecting with the work of existing new media theory and artifacts, and I will try to catalogue these to the best of my ability in this category. I’ll often wind up posting things that do not directly relate to the research project, but bear on new media and theory of games in general.

There should be quite a bit in here in due time.

1 Comment

  1. Calvin, this is very similar to the genre of AI research at ICT (who have, in the past, contracted Andrew Stern as a freelancer because of his work on Fa├žade). My friend Don is also interested in this kind of game AI, though possibly with a different scale/approach.

    Can’t wait to hear more about this when I’m back in town…and can’t wait to see what you create on the trail to your dissertation. Wow.

    Comment by jason — October 8, 2006 @ 12:56 am

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