An artificial intelligence system named UT^2 developed by researchers from the University of Texas in Austin and and one made by Romanian doctoral student Mihai Polceanu were recently made the joint recipients of the BotPrize.
The BotPrize is basically an attempt sponsored by 2K Games to see if participants can successfully create an NPC bot in Unreal Tournament 2004 that can pass as a human. Think of it as a Turing test for the gaming generation.
Awesome, eh? Amusingly, as reported by Futurity, the winning bots apparently scored a "humanness" rating of 52 percent. Human players, on the other hand, averaged at 40 percent. In other words, by one measure at least, these bots are more human than humans.
Jason Schrum, a doctoral student and one of people responsible for the UT^2 explained that the team had, in their attempts to closely emulate human behavior, taken a two-pronged approach to things:
"If we just set the goal as eliminating one's enemies, a bot will evolve toward having perfect aim, which is not very human-like. So we impose constraints on the bot's aim, such that rapid movements and long distances decrease accuracy. By evolving for good performance under such behavioral constraints, the bot's skill is optimized within human limitations, resulting in behavior that is good but still human-like."
Will we one day see a video game approximate of Deep Blue duking it out with the human best in games like Dota 2, Call of Duty and more? I don't know, but I certainly hope so.
This story, "Artificial Unreal Tournament player more human than human players" was originally published by TechHive.