Re: True AI

From: Daniel A. Koepke (
Date: 09/27/99

Today, Zeavon spake to the list:

> AI has always interested me, and I know that the mud would be a
> wonderful implementation of AI activities. The problem is that I'm not
> quite sure where to start.

The question you have to first address is whether or not it's *REALLY*
worth it.  Are your players really going to notice it?  Are they really
going to care beyond the "cool" factor?  As coders we do a lot of silly
things that our players don't really care about because we convince
ourselves, "People will think this is really cool."  No, they won't.  We
grab onto these things for their challenge.  Their interesting to us from
our standpoint as coders.  From the players' point of view, you could've
just done a reasonable fake and no-one would notice.

> Does anyone have any suggested readings for this field?

Not really.  It's a *VERY* broad field.  Saying "AI" encompasses
everything from NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ANNs (Artificial
Neural Networks) to robots that are smart enough to get along in the real
world.  And, of course, none of the topics are terribly easy to understand
or code for without a formal introduction.  There a few things, such as
Hopfield networks (a type of ANN) that are fairly easy to code for and
understand.  However, even when you find something like that it's
difficult to imagine the practical application of it.

Basically, my suggestion is to *fake* it.  I did some work a long time ago
on a logic engine for mobiles.  This basically provided a comprehensive
set of functions that would factor in very attributes of a mobile and
produce a suggested response that the mobile could choose to listen to or
ignore.  This sounds a lot more fancy than it is.  It really comes down to
figuring out if a mobile is hungry, if the mobile is too busy to go eat,
if the mobile should REALLY go eat regardless of what activity it's
engaged in, etc., and adding up the values of these and waiting for it to
break the mobile's threshold for that particular blob of information.  I
can't talk very much right now, since I've got some work to finish up and
I have to be heading out the door to drop off some paperwork and run some
errands, but if you want more information, simply ask and I'll try to post
something more comprehensive later.


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