A company called Simulex combines gaming technology with artificial intelligence to create a virtual reflection of the world that predicts possible outcomes from natural disasters, wars, and business decisions.
Simulex’s program is based on a project developed by the University of Purdue and the Department of Defense called the Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulation. The software lets you interact with artificially intelligent populations inside a virtual world. Simulex used SEAS, for example, to help the United States Army Accessions Command test out recruiting techniques on an artificial labor market. According to the company, the virtual world mirrored “the US population down to the ZIP code level, [and created] the traits of each potential recruit, such as education, intelligence, and work experience” based on census studies, social science, and psychological theories.
SEAS has also been used for planning emergency responses to terrorist attacks, and for improving air traffic control systems. Simulex clients include the U.S. Joint Forces Command, the United States Army Recruiting Command, the Crane Naval Warfare Surface Center, Eli Lilly, and Lockheed Martin.