Since the inception of the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), game playing has had a key role. Likewise, AI has been an integral part of modern computer games. This collaboration of academic and commercial research and development into AI has yielded vast amounts of crossover technology. Academic research problems have become or influenced commercial games and the money gained from the commercial applications of AI have helped advance academic research as well. Highly publicized man-machine tournaments, such as between Gary Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue have served to showcase the current state of the art in Artificial Intelligence agents. The technology from these game players is finding its way into many other software fields, such as medical databases.
Not long ago, at the mention of Artificial Intelligence (AI) the first thing most people thought of was the science fiction image of computers capable of independent thought and possessing a human-like personality such as HAL from the movie 2001. It is not unusual now to see commercial computer games advertised and reviewed based on their AI capabilities. The strategic war game EARTH 2140 for example is advertised as containing "excellent strategic and economic AI". Where once AI was solely a matter of fiction and research, it has effectively made its way into the consumer market in the form of computer games. While AI artifacts have not yet reached the level of HAL, computers and their games have advanced substantially from the days of punch cards and Pong.
The early uses of Artificial Intelligence in game playing were not the highly graphical, user friendly, mass marketed computer games seen today. The e...
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...hat the game required "robot-like planning abilities,"2 not deep search. The tools used to solve problems in AI will continue to evolve via game playing as long as there are new games to play and new computers on which to play them.
1. AAAI Hall of Champions, Matthew L. Ginsberg,
2. "Smart games: beyond the Deep Blue horizon" Sara Hedberg IEEE Expert July/August 1997
3. "Deep Blue Wins 3.5 to 2.5: Kasparov vs. Deep Blue the rematch" IM Malcolm Pein, London Chess Centre May 11, 1997
4. "Classic Games and AI - What's Been "Solved"", Steven Woodcock
5. "Deep Blue's Hardware - Software Synergy" Scott Hamilton and Lee Garber Computer October 1997
6. "Debbi One: Challenging the Extremes of Computation", George Kaplan
7. Interplay's Earth 2140 Website
8. "Ultima Online", Cindy Yans Computer Games Strategy Plus July 1997 Pages 44 - 49
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