MSU professor brings new type of artificial intelligence to world of video games
An MSU professor has developed a revolutionary new type of artificial intelligence, or AI, and he's bringing it to the world of video games for its first real-world application.
Arend Hintze, assistant professor for integrative biology and computer science and engineering, has developed a new form of AI that can adapt and learn through a process similar to Darwinian evolution.
"All these systems (Watson, Siri) which are these super-great hallmarks of artificial intelligence are really expert systems that have no general purpose intelligence, like a cockroach, for example," Hintze said. "So, how do you get to this cockroach-level intelligence, or the general intelligence of ours, when not through these expert systems...and the answer is, well, evolution made actual intelligence, so why not use evolution to get to artificial intelligence?"
Hintze's new program sets itself apart from the AI people are used to, such as what has been seen in games before and what is used by Siri on iPhones, by being what he refers to as a "probabilistic" machine.
"And then, on a completely second layer, we also change how this AI behaves over an evolutionary time. So, the more you play it, the more it changes, the more it adapts to what you do," he said.
Hintze has used his AI program in minor applications, but is now working with Strength in Numbers (SiN) Studios, a Lansing-based game development company, to use his work to take their first game release to a new level.
"Once we got the studio in place and started getting the product development on board, Arend and I have just been back-and-forth about how we can do some cool things together," Scott Reschke, CEO and lead game designer of SiN Studios, said. "It just was a natural evolution, pun intended, of implementing his code and what they had already developed."
Reschke said he is excited for what this AI program will do for their upcoming game, Tuebor.
"It immediately triggered this idea of how can we use this to make our game even better by evolving the intelligence system of the non-player characters...to where we can continuously evolve them to be harder and harder to beat and create newer, better challenges," Reschke said.
Strength in Numbers Studios plans to release Tuebor later this spring along with a corresponding comic book series. Players interested in the game can sign up to play the Alpha version at the game's website.