Archive for May, 2009

Emotional Memory and Adaptive Personalities

Believable agents designed for long-term interaction with human users need to adapt to them in a way which appears emotionally plausible while maintaining a consistent personality. For short-term interactions in restricted environments, scripting and state machine techniques can create agents with emotion and personality, but these methods are labor intensive, hard to extend, and brittle in new environments. Fortunately, research in memory, emotion and personality in humans and animals points to a solution to this problem. Emotions focus an animal’s attention on things it needs to care about, and strong emotions trigger enhanced formation of memory, enabling the animal to adapt its emotional response to the objects and situations in its environment. In humans this process becomes reflective: emotional stress or frustration can trigger re-evaluating past behavior with respect to personal standards, which in turn can lead to setting new strategies or goals.

To aid the authoring of adaptive agents, we present an artificial intelligence model inspired by these psychological results in which an emotion model triggers case-based emotional preference learning and behavioral adaptation guided by personality models. Our tests of this model on robot pets and embodied characters show that emotional adaptation can extend the range and increase the behavioral sophistication of an agent without the need for authoring additional hand-crafted behaviors.

Read the paper:

Emotional Memory and Adaptive Personalities

by Anthony Francis, Manish Mehta, Ashwin Ram

Handbook of Research on Synthetic Emotions and Sociable Robotics: New Applications in Affective Computing and Artificial Intelligence, IGI Global, 2009

Using First Order Inductive Learning as an Alternative to a Simulator in a Game Artificial Intelligence

Currently many game artificial intelligences attempt to determine their next moves by using a simulator to predict the effect of actions in the world. However, writing such a simulator is time-consuming, and the simulator must be changed substantially whenever a detail in the game design is modified. As such, this research project set out to determine if a version of the first order inductive learning algorithm could be used to learn rules that could then be used in place of a simulator.

We used an existing game artificial intelligence system called Darmok 2. By eliminating the need to write a simulator for each game by hand, the entire Darmok 2 project could more easily adapt to additional real-time strategy games. Over time, Darmok 2 would also be able to provide better competition for human players by training the artificial intelligences to play against the style of a specific player. Most importantly, Darmok 2 might also be able to create a general solution for creating game artificial intelligences, which could save game development companies a substantial amount of money, time, and effort.

Read the thesis:

Using First Order Inductive Learning as an Alternative to a Simulator in a Game Artificial Intelligence

by Katie Long

Undergraduate Thesis, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2009

Creating Behavior Authoring Environments for Everyday Users

The design of interactive experiences is increasingly important in our society. Examples include interactive media, computer games, and interactive portals. There is increasing interest in modes of interaction with virtual characters, as they represent a natural way for humans to interact. Creating such characters is a complex task, requiring both creative skills (to design personalities, emotions, gestures, behaviors) and programming skills (to code these in a scripting or programming language). There is little understanding of how the behavior authoring process can be simplified with easy-to-use authoring environments that can support the cognitive needs of everyday users and help them at every step to easily carry out this creative task.

Our research focuses on behavior authoring environments that not only make it easy for novices/everyday users to create characters but also provide them scaffolding in designing these interactive experiences. In this paper we present results from a user study with a paper prototype of an authoring environment that is aimed to allow everyday users to create virtual characters. The study aims at determining whether typical computer users are able to create character personalities in specific scenarios and think about characters’ mental states, and if so, then what kinds of user interfaces would be suitable for this authoring environment.

Read the paper:

Creating Behavior Authoring Environments for Everyday Users

by Manish Mehta, Christina Lacey, Iulian Radu, Abhishek Jain, Ashwin Ram

International Conference on Computer Games, Multimedia, and Allied Technologies (CGAT-09), Singapore, May 2009