Wednesday, November 12, 2008

military's AI in MMOs

The U.S. military is about to use MMOs as a testing ground for their latest human-simulation AI.

According to the Army's Director of Research and Laboratory Management, these AI characters "think independently, have emotions and speak in slang". In other words, these are far beyond the bots you might be accustomed to seeing in MMOs. These bots don't just grind. They will seem to converse with players.

There's no mention of the extent to which these Army bots will partake in gameplay. The focus is clearly on simulating social intelligence and personality, rather than combat prowess. I'm sure our military has impressive AI for that as well.

Unfortunately, I doubt the Army's test results and strategies will be shared with the game industry, though I could be wrong. If our military perceives such AI has having only training value, then they might share. But if they believe such AI has intelligence and counter-intelligence applications, as I expect, then they will guard their methods against enemy insights.

So don't expect this to lead to gaming progress.

But do feel free to make a mini-game out of identifying impostors! You'll be helping our troops in the process.

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