About this course

One of the surprising things about the state of computer science at the start of the 21st century is the degree to which entertainment has become a driving application.  Already progress in computer graphics is being driven far more by the needs of computer gaming than it is by engineering, scientific visualization, or business needs.  The same is very likely to become true in artificial intelligence.  Progress in artificial intelligence could make radical changes in interactive entertainment.  For example, while the US computer game industry has higher gross revenues than the US film industry, many more people read novels than play computer games.  Part of broadening the appeal of games, and making new forms of interactive entertainment, will involve moving beyond the "say it with bullets" model that dominates many of today's games.

This course will help you learn about the state of the art of AI in computer games and how that might change in the future.  We will focus on two areas of gaming, with equal emphasis on each:

  1. Strategy game reasoning.  This includes terrain analysis, path/position planning, resource management, military strategy and tactics, and diplomacy. 
  2. Conversational systems.  This includes a survey of existing conversation systems used in computer games, natural language parsing, semantic interpretation, dialogue, and natural language generation with an eye towards both what is practical now and what may become practical in the future.

Prerequisites: CS 325, CS 344, or CS 348 required. 

Last edited 2/7/05, by KDF.