I am not much of a computer games player, but I do have a fondness for Unreal Tournament– a network shoot-em-up game at which I have always been hopeless if
enthusiastic (though I’ve not played for a few years now).
Next week Unreal bots will battle human players at the IEEE Conference of Computational Intelligence and Games in Grenada, Spain and if a bot can convince human players it is real then its developers could win $7000. In past years the bots have only won a maximum of $2000 – the money that goes to the best bot that is not convincing as a human.
This year, though, hopes seem high that one bot – ‘Neurobot’ – has a real crack at the $7000 prize (it came second to ICE-CIG amongst the bots last year but Neurobot’s developers, from Imperial College in London, are hoping that improvements they have made put it in poll.)
The interesting thing is that Neurobot is the algorithm/concept being used – the bot doesn’t try to use computational power to fully absorb the scene and act on every piece of information, but instead discriminates using the principles of “global workplace theory” (GWT) which states that the human brain only pushes a small number of things into the forefront of thought – the “global workplace”.
Neurobot models the brain’s GWT with about 20,000 simulated neurons as opposed to the estimated 120 billion in the human brain.
Neurobot’s prospects for success might then suggest that the barrier to successful AI has not really been the inability of computers to match the computational power of the human brain, but the failure, thus far at least, for human AI researchers to model how the brain works. In other words – we are not really as clever as we like to think (a thought which dominated much of the latter work of Alan Turing – as much discussed in Alan Turing: The Enigma (which I am still listening to – though I have got down to the final three hours of thirty).
- Cyber-brain for AI fighter (newscientist.com)
- Here Come the Neurobots (journeythroughthecortex.blogspot.com)
- Computers Get Creative, Part 1 (enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com)
- More games should be like Unreal Tournament 2004 (seanmalstrom.wordpress.com)
- Email: Unreal Tournament 2004 (seanmalstrom.wordpress.com)