Brian Schwab from Blizzard keynotes UTS Games Open Day

Leigh Harris
Brian Schwab from Blizzard keynotes UTS Games Open Day

At the University of Technology Sydney games open day yesterday, Blizzard AI lead Brian Schwab gave an address on psychology.

Schwab's spoke about the differences between the 'right' way to do things and the 'human' way to do them, stressting the importance of recognisably human traits in game AI.

He went over the ways in which cognitive science and psychology impact upon human choices in games, noting that unlike AI, humans don't always review every single available option and pick the 'best' one, often acting more quickly as a result of cognitive bias and emotional impulse.

Where thorough AI which contemplates every move can be useful, he asserts, is in games like Chess, where that kind of contemplative thought is demanded, but these uses are few and far between.

Schwab pointed out our not so distant primal relatives thinking largely on their toes as a survival mechanism, and the relatively short length of time we've been thoughtful and purposeful creatures.

The main drive of the talk was Schwab calling for an increase in human elements in gaming AI, citing the guard who returns to its patrol after not finding the source of a noise, where the punishment for that AI's supposed failure to eke out a threat is so high that it'd be unrealistic for it to give up so quickly, with Schwab arguing for a trick like a changing of the guard in order to preserve the illusion of humanity.

Schwab's upcoming book 'The Psychology of Game AI' is coming out on 26th September.


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Tags: blizzard , Development

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