Artificial stupidity

Games do not need AI that makes perfect moves, or is highly intelligent in terms of strategy. What games need are acts of stupidity. Human errors. Mistakes. Stupidity – as compared to intelligent play – that occurs only sometimes.

In NHL game series the AI is evolving, but it’s also very predictable. The AI doesn’t make occasional silly moves. There’s no accidental mistakes.

What’s great in online multiplayer games: human opponents. Even the most skilled players make mistakes, silly mistakes. That’s what creates fun, memorable, unexpected moments. That’s what AI should try to replicate.

When AI programming reaches the level of emerging stupidity, then we are onto something.

5 thoughts on “Artificial stupidity

  1. Federico

    Well, that is only if you’re trying to replicate human behaviour with an AI. There are some times when the approach is to create a different experience altogether that separates the kinds of games you have against an AI (and the challenge and enjoyment therein) from the ones you have against a human player.

    Furthermore, it seems to me that your suggestion would be more applicable to AIs that try to beat humans on fair grounds rather than those that try to loose while providing a fun experience.

    Reply
    1. Juuso

      Yeh, there was the underlying assumption that I’m playing a game like NHL or soccer where 2 human teams compete against others.

      Interesting that you pointed out AI to beat humans or “try to lose”… I was indeed thinking the one you mentioned. Never been such a big fan of “adapting” AI.

    2. Federico

      I think there’s a place for both, especially if we can map them to different difficulty levels. It’s my intuition that there’s a vast audience to whom the idea of “if you make sure to put this level of effort you’ll end up winning” is satisfactory.

      Getting back to your article, I believe you’re spot on with the idea that AIs could be improved by mimicking human behaviour (in this case human folly.)

      Still, there’s the question of how to make them effective without descending into a pattern of “2 minutes of being a moron, 2 minutes of perfect micromanagement.”

    3. Juuso Hietalahti Post author

      “Still, there’s the question of how to make them effective without descending into a pattern of “2 minutes of being a moron, 2 minutes of perfect micromanagement.”

      Yes… the moment it feels “coded in there random”, the illusion is lost. It’s a tricky thing to do. Nobody said it was supposed to be easy though ;)

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