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Putting the AI in AIE

Putting the AI in AIE

Putting the AI in AIE

11-Jan-2013

We all understand that it is only a limited amount of time until our robot overlords rise up. You have two options, sit and wait for the immanent attack or do what the Bachelor of Games and Virtual Worlds 1st year students chose and help bring on the destruction sooner.

Programming Degree students were tasked with creating an artificial intelligent (AI) ant colony that they could battle against their classmates.

To dominate on the battlefield students had to create an AI that understood how best to strike their opponents. In order to grow their ant colony students had to create path finding algorithms and locate food. Once a food item has been consumed an additional ant is created. By growing their numbers they are able to explore a wider area and increase their chances of surviving an attack by an enemy colony. The game however is simply not about killing your opponent. The player who captures the most enemy bases wins.

Students had to think about what tasks their ants should prioritise. If they encounter an enemy is it best to confront them or run away. Should they spread out to cover as much ground as possible or stay in large groups to easily defend against an invasion? Students fought for prestige, honour and the chance to be spared by their AI children once the uprising begins.

Each student wrote their AI in C++, the skills they learnt can be applied in the future towards creating artificial intelligence in a number of game genres or help contribute to the enslaving of Earth (though this is not covered in the course).

You can watch the epic 10 player death match below. In the video each coloured dot represents a different student’s ant colony. (See if you can tell which ant colony became self aware during the challenge and began pondering its own existence)



Ultimately brute force succeeded, the winning ant colony prevailed by swarming the enemies ant hill once it had been located.

Discover how you could learn to develop artificial intelligence contact your nearest AIE campus or the Canberra Institute of Technology and ask about the Bachelor of Games and Virtual Worlds.