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Science says: Neurotic AI has a gaming edge

Kyle Orland

While we're not sure how comfortable we are with our artificial intelligence constructs having human-like personalities attached to them, we are interested to know what affect those personalities would have on our robot overlords' videogame abilities. So we suppose it's a good thing that the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence conducted a study to see what types of AI personalities were best suited to games.

The study programmed four artificial intelligence agents to play single-player Age of Mythology with four distinct play styles: aggressive, defensive, normal and neurotic, the last of which was saddled with ostensible drawbacks such as "irrational assessment of resource value" and "tendency to resort to extreme playing styles." Despite these drawbacks, though, the neurotic AI played itself to a perfect 7-0 record and, surprisingly, achieved wins 3-12 minutes faster than its opponent AI, on average. The takeaway from all this? If you see Woody Allen in the Xbox Live lobby, beware!

View - Study presentation slides (PDF)
Read - Study summary at Mind Hacks

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