GDC AI Summit: Existential Crisis – Do We Really Need AI?

In the 2011 AI Summit, we featured a panel of experienced AI developers discussing some of the non-technical issues that AI developers face. This year, the Summit will have a similarly non-technical panel discussing the “how”, “when”, and “why” of game AI rather than simply the “what”.

This 25-minute panel features four familiar AI veterans Chris Jurney (Double Fine), Dan Kline(Maxis), Kevin Dill (Lockheed Martin), and Rez Graham (EA: Sims Division) and will be moderated by Summit co-adviser, Steve Rabin (Nintendo of America).

From the GDC site description:

It’s easy for AI programmers to look at games and say, “I would have added this” or “they should have fixed that”. However, simply asserting that a game could have had better AI only addresses one issue. There are always other factors to consider. How much would it have cost? What were the schedule pressures? And frankly, where does AI fit in the overall vision for the game? Are there even some games that *gasp* don’t need better AI? This panel will explore these questions and provide some perspective into where AI fits in this vast universe of game development.

David “Rez” Graham, Software Engineer III, Electronic Arts (Sims Division)

Rez is an Artificial Intelligence programmer at Electronic Arts working on The Sims team where he most recently worked on The Sims Medieval and the Pirates & Nobles expansion.  He has worked in the games industry for over 6 years spending most of that time working on various kinds of AI, from platformer enemy AI to full simulation games.  He is the co-author of “Game Coding Complete, 4th Edition” and regularly speaks to colleges and high schools about working in the games industry.

Daniel Kline, Software Engineer, Maxis

Daniel Kline has been an AI and Game Programmer and Designer since 2001. He has shipped 5 titles and developed 10 titles, working with companies such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, LucasArts, SquareSoft, and Midway. He was Head AI and Gameplay Engineer on Star Wars: Force Unleashed, AI programmer on Diablo 3, and the engineer and designer of the first two levels of Call of Duty: Finest Hour. He has spent over 5 years doing Interactive Storytelling research, design, programming, and pre-production for 3 different companies and AAA blockbuster titles. He is currently finishing Darkspore at Maxis.

Kevin Dill, Staff Software Engineer, Lockheed Martin Global Training & Logistics

Kevin Dill is a staff software engineer at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Simulation Center. He is a recognized expert on Game AI and a veteran of the game industry, with seven published titles under his belt. He was the technical editor for Introduction to Game AI and Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI, and a section editor for AI Game Programming Wisdom 4. He has taught classes on game development and game AI at Harvard University, Boston University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Chris Jurney, Lead Programmer, Double Fine Productions

Chris Jurney is a rock and roll experimental lead programmer at Double Fine Productions, with 12 years experience in games and simulation. He has shipped numerous titles in the games industry including Company of Heroes, Dawn of War 2, and Iron Brigade. Chris frequently speaks on the topic of game AI, having presented at GDC 5 times as well as at GDC China, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania,, and various IGDA chapters. He has also written articles published in AI Game Programming Wisdom and frequently modifies his behaviors and routes to avoid the enemy psychics of Galactic Rear Admiral Thoothius Branx.

Steve Rabin, Principal Software Engineer, Nintendo of America

Steve is a principal software engineer at Nintendo of America, where he researches new techniques for Nintendo’s next generation systems, develops tools, and supports Nintendo developers. Before Nintendo, Steve worked primarily as an AI engineer at several Seattle start-ups including Gas Powered Games, WizBang Software Productions, and Surreal Software. He managed and edited the AI Game Programming Wisdom series of books, the book Introduction to Game Development, and has over a dozen articles published in the Game Programming Gems series. He’s spoken at the Game Developers Conference, moderated the AI roundtables, and founded the AI Game Programmers Guild. Steve teaches game AI at both the University of Washington Extension and at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. He earned a BS in computer engineering and an MS in computer science, both from the University of Washington.


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3 Responses to GDC AI Summit: Existential Crisis – Do We Really Need AI?

  1. Andrew C says:

    So is there any coverage on this discussion? Live blog, video, etc.? I would love to see it.

  2. Dave Mark says:

    All the sessions from the GDC AI Summit will be up on the GDC Vault within a few weeks. However, access to the Vault is only for All Access pass holders and paid users.

    Sometimes, GDC releases one or more of the sessions from Summits for free. We have no control over which ones, however.

  3. Pingback: 2012 GDC AI Summit — Highest-Rated Sessions and Speakers | AIGPG News

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