Posted tagged ‘AI’

Did Maslow get it wrong? (and why this matters for games)

November 23, 2008

You may be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (more on this below the cut).  Maslow’s theory has heavily influenced the architecture of our AI technology, which is why I’m attuned to discussions of it or instances that support or undercut it.  Recently I ran across a theory in education known as “CBUPO,” an ungainly acronym for “Comptence, Belonging, Usefulness, Potency, Optimism” designed by Richard Sagor at Washington State University (an accessible introduction can be found here (pdf)). Sagor’s theory suggests some interesting modifications to Maslow that have consequences for how we understand ourselves — as well as the motivations for gamers and AIs.

(Warning: psychological theory leading to AI and game-relevant thoughts below.)

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The Future of AI: Social AI

November 14, 2008

I’ve been talking a lot about “social AI” recently as a way to differentiate what we have been developing from “typical” or traditional AI.

The easy way to say this is “we don’t do pathfinding.”  Which isn’t entirely true (we have a simple but effective pathfinding mechanism), but it shows where our focus is(n’t).  Agents need to move around a world, sure; and showing crowds of agents walking purposefully about makes for a great visual demo.  But to be interesting — or even more, meaningful — they need to do a lot more than that.

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