Saturday, March 31, 2007

In Hawaii

So now I'm in Hawaii, "preparing" for the IEEE Symposium Series which will start tomorrow. Preparing on the beach, that is.

There has been a lot of interest in the CIG Car Racing Competition after the recent media coverage. Unfortunately, the deadline is passed (the results will be presented on Thursday) but given the interest I will definitely look into some way of rerunning the competition, either by attaching it to another conference or making it into some form of permanent league.

Another "Ask Slashdot" of mine recently got on the frontpage - it's about the Most Impressive Game AI. Check it out. Unfortunately I don't know if I can contribute much to the discussion as there's no Internet on the beach. Or, at least, I'm not bringing a laptop to the beach.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Slashdot and New Scientist

Thread on Slashdot on the car racing research:

Slashdot thread

Contains some interesting discussion, and was soon picked up by New Scientist:

New Scientist article

Hmm... interesting that I am linking to a post that links back to this blog. Self-referential promotion.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mini-Grand Challenge, sort of...

So now it's official: we (a team led by Simon) will build a demonstrator model car with onboard computer control, and organize the first model car competitions at WCCI 2008. The IDEA is that a smaller car faces the same problems of navigation, control, computer vision etc. as a full-size car does, but is enormously cheaper to build. So it's like a miniature version of the DARPA Grand Challenge, that anyone can participate in. Of course, this makes it possible to try some riskier approaches, that you would never dare try with a full-size car, such as various machine learning techniques. We hope we will see lots of innovative entrants to the competition.

Most impressive game AI?

I have the feeling that when developers make the effort to put really sophisticated AI into a game, gamers frequently just don't notice (see e.g. Forza). Conversely, games that are lauded for their fantastic AI are sometimes based on very simple algorithms (e.g. Halo 1). For someone who wants to apply AI to games, it is very interesting to know what AI is really appreciated. So, what is the most impressive game AI you have come across? Have you ever encountered a situation where it really felt like the computer-controlled opponents were really thinking, that there were "someone in there"?