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How Artificial Intelligence Could Help Video Gamers Create the Exact Games They Want to Play

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Article by Matthew Gault, TIME

For video game fans, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) is just as familiar as extra lives, respawns, and end bosses. Gamers have spent decades going up against computer-controlled opponents, whether a Pong paddle trying to prevent them from scoring a point or Bowser trying to stop Mario from rescuing Princess Peach. But recent developments in AI are pushing the gaming field even further, as researchers develop algorithms that can help fans make exciting new titles on their own.

The history of AI and that of gaming are inexorably intertwined. Early AI researchers saw games like chess as markers of intelligence, and thus perfect testing grounds for their work. “One of the very earliest things that people tried to do with this sort of burgeoning field was get it to play chess and get to play chess well, and, obviously, that eventually happened with Deep Blue,” says Matthew Guzdial, an AI researcher and assistant professor at the University of Alberta. Contemporary AI researchers have focused on more complex games, particularly the ancient Chinese game of Go.

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