What is AI and Games?
The AI and Games YouTube series, and the site you are on right now, started out as an experiment in trying to disseminate the interesting and exciting artificial intelligence research and development that is happening in video games to university students. Artificial intelligence is a hot topic in many respects; it's a wonderfully exciting area of scientific discovery as we aim to build computer systems that effectively enhance our quality of life, but also carries many moral, ethical and political issues due to its applications.
One area that proves highly engaging, both with the general public and with aspiring software developers, is the applications within games. This ranges from how AI techniques can be adopted in commercial games to improve gameplay or provide new experiences, but also the research applications of the medium. Games provide an interesting test bed for AI systems given they can effectively replicate many of the more complex decision-making frameworks we encounter in the real world, but can abstract them into simplified (and often more fun) systems. Games are inherently interesting for AI systems to explore, given that we humans find them fun to play. The fun factor comes largely from the challenging intellectual stimulus that these games provide and that opens up interesting challenges both in making AI systems that are part of the gameplay experience, but also for using games as a tool for research.
One of the key issues behind the myriad of interesting projects that have been conducted, both in game development and research, is that seldom few people outside of their community know it exists. As such, this site aims to educate on fundamental AI techniques and show how these can be adopted in a variety of ways. Ultimately, the aim is to not only show the amazing work happening right now that seldom few people acknowledge, but to both educate and entertain readers in the process. If you enjoyed visiting this site and learned something in the process, then our mission is accomplished!
About the Author
AI and Games is written by Dr Tommy Thompson, a senior lecturer in computer science based in the UK. Tommy is an artificial intelligence researcher who spends the majority of his time exploring AI applications in video games. Outside of his lecturing and teaching duties, Tommy is also part of the indie game development company Table Flip Games and is transferring some of his research ideas into his games work.
Yes, the AI and Games series is crowdfunded thanks to the wonderful people over at Patreon.com. This means that every month our patrons provide cash as a tip to support our endeavours. Through this, our sponsors effectively provide some financial support to the series that allows for the continued development and improvement of this site and its content. We're immensely grateful to everyone who has sponsored the series since it started and it most certainly is in a much stronger position now - in terms of both content and quality of production - than it was when it started.