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Artificial Stupidity… This is Embarrassing

OK… this is one of the indications that our sliver of the industry needs to step it up a bit. Here’s an article on GamesRadar that is chocked full of YouTube videos showing AI doing stupid things. Portrayed are some recurrent suspects such as Crysis, Assassin’s’ Creed, and Oblivion. And these aren’t rarities. Just search YouTube for variations on “stupid AI” and you can keep yourself amused and horrified for hours.

The problem is, as AI programmers, we can generally instantly say “Oh, they should have simply done this…” And yet, as a whole we continue to ship product with pathetic exploits or autonomous behaviors such as the ones depicted here. Why is that? Sure, the combinatorial explosion of situational possibilities rivals the big bang making it difficult to even account for everything much less “solve” everything. And while those situations approach infinity, our funding and ship dates are usually far more restrictive.

Or is it something more? Who knows? All I know is that I don’t want to be on the receiving end of the derision of the gaming community… and in the age of instant mass media, it’s pretty simple to become famous.

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2 Responses to “Artificial Stupidity… This is Embarrassing”

  1. Andy says:

    They are pretty funny, and frankly, there are plenty of other funny things (searching for game bugs usually brings up a lot more hits).

    They are broken bits of AI, for sure, but I think it’s a bit overblown saying it’s a bad thing, since to be honest, there will always be a percent of games with lacking AI. Yeah, Assassins Creed and Crysis shouldn’t be that small percent, but it is getting better! (much more so then 10 or even 5 years ago), since at least the bug rate is going down tremendously.

    So it’s got a good side to it I think, that pointing out this list shows just how few AI bugs there seem to be in some cases!

  2. Sergio says:

    So easy to condemn, so hard to create.

    So a few bugs made it to the shipped product, so what? Obviously we know what they should have done, they should have fixed them.

    No amount of AI technology is going to prevent bugs from showing up. In fact, the opposite is true. Those games shipped with those glitches because they were trying to do complex things.

    It’s easy to sit in an ivory tower and ridicule other games that are pushing boundaries. I haven’t worked in any of those titles, but I fully understand how hard they must have worked to get those games out there. They don’t deserve this.

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