They say the meek shall inherit the earth, but these experiments with emotional computer programs
(pdf) suggest it may actually be the neurotic. And that they'll probably take it rapidly by military force.The Austrian researchers
want games to be more engaging by having emotional, not just coolly calculating, computer players. Instead of just challenging your rational planning and decision skills, you'll have use your emotional intelligence too.
They created aggressive, defensive, normal and neurotic versions of the AI software in the war strategy game Age of Mythology
, drawing on "the big five
" emotional dimensions to personality recognised by psychologists.
The bots are able to switch between states of pleasure, pain, clarity, and confusion in response to events. The strength of particular emotional changes is related to the overall personality.
The neurotic bot was more likely than the others to distort hard facts about resources - like the amount of timber around - and flip between extremes of behaviour. And it was better than the rest.
Each bot took on the game's default AI seven times. Both the aggressive and neurotic bots won all their matches - but the neurotic did it faster. On average by around 25%.
There's no indication of whether being top bot boosted the neurotic program's low self-esteem. The researchers say their result suggests a neurotic strategy gives an advantage, and are going on to pit the emotional bots against humans. It'll be interesting to see if neurosis still wins - and if humans can tell the different personalities apart.Tom Simonite, online technology reporter
Labels: AI, artificial-intelligence, games, gaming