Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INTERCOGAM (Information Theoretic Evaluation of Random Content Generation in Games)
Okres sprawozdawczy: 2018-12-01 do 2019-11-30
Particularly noteworthy is the development of the coupled empowerment framework – where a non-player character is imbued with a set of motivations that cause it to act in an antagonistic or helpful way . The strength of this approach is its flexibility and robustness – which makes it applicable to a range of different games without much adaptation. We demonstrated that this framework captures relatively intuitive notions of support or antagonism, and thus provides us with formal building block to build companion or non-player behaviour. We also argued, and showed in simulation, that this approach could be a feasible way to provide some basic ethical framework to robots, giving them basic notion for empowering humans, maintaining their own ability to act and maintaining their operational flexibility.
As part of the development of the coupled empowerment framework we also made several improvements towards more efficient ways of computing empowerment – specifically for discrete and deterministic scenarios. This lower computational load makes it more feasible to apply empowerment to a range of scenarios. It also encourages further development of those tools beyond the proof of concept implementations presented in INTERCOGAM. In particular, there is an increase in the professional game development community to engage and use more modern AI techniques for game testing and design.
The INTERCOGAM project also contributed to the further development of the theory behind intrinsic motivations. We developed the philosophical argument that aims to close the gap between basic assumptions about the mind from an enactive perspective to the development of a mathematical formalism. Furthermore, we also partook in the development of a unifying framework that can express a range of different intrinsic motivation – making it possible to compare these different notions formally and in a simulation. While games offer a great testbed to evaluate and benefit from robust intrinsic motivation models, understanding intrinsic motivation better offers us great insights on how minds operate and how to approach problems in general.
The experiments with human participants towards the end of the project have also produced some of the first empirical data linking human experience and perceptions to different intrinsically motivated behaviours. We investigated the relationship between empowerment and challenge, and produced significant results demonstrating the relationship between perceived warmth and predictive information in a robot human interaction scenario.
INTERCOGAM’s other main goal is to provide a metric that can evaluate a range of different games (or experiences) and provide us with a good proxy for the actual experience. Our initial results indicate that an intrinsic motivation-based approach, as advocated by us, could provide us with a metric that actually evaluates the experience of a player with a game (rather than some property of the artefact) across a range of games. This would have major applications, as it would allow game companies to automatically test games without having to hand-craft test for a specific game or scenario.
Our development of the Generative Design for Minecraft competition and the associated framework have also already led to an increased focus on the idea of adaptive procedural content generation. Universities around the world have started to use the GDMC competition as part of their coursework, and this had allowed us to build a community that is interested in various forms of procedural content generation, and their comparison and human evaluation. Noteworthy here is also that the GDMC includes members of the general public as participants and generators of novel ideas, rather than as test subjects – and, as such, its pushes the idea of citizen science further .