Re: using game programming to develop animal-equivalent agi

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Thu Mar 16 2006 - 10:54:53 MST

This is sense??! I think not. The method suggested would take as long
as evolution took to get from amoeba to us. (A massively parallel
planetary computer versus a playstation?).

The sheer complexity of the internal structure of an AGI is so far
beyond what you would find in these game programs that it isn't even funny.

Richard Loosemore.

pdugan wrote:
> Finally someone on this list is talking sense! Yes, if you combined the Havok
> physics engine with Spore, and maybe a evolutionary algorithm like the memetic
> algorithm (I believe Spore's evolutionary algorithms neglect the
> hueristic-driven local search component), it's possible to have AI to a
> limited capacity. I can't say with certianty whether this AI would be
> integrated and well-rounded enough to be called "general", but I can say with
> a great deal of faith that AGI and interactive entertianment applications will
> converge, possibly by the middle of the next decade.
> Patrick Dugan
>> ===== Original Message From Kevin Osborne <> =====
>> the list has been a little quiet for a couple of days, so I thought
>> I'd gag up something I've been mulling over for a while...
>> I'm thinking it might be possible to develop evolving in-game
>> lifeforms of trivial general intelligence. and I think that the code
>> is not only possible today, but that it's already here.
>> let me explain my basis in contrast to the kurzweil/moravec notion of
>> replacing existing brain elements with inorganic equivalents to
>> produce a thinking being - with the contrast being that I see the
>> moravec approach as being top-down, while I believe there is a
>> distinct possibility of a bottom-up path-to-intelligence.
>> two more elements are needed for this position: evolution and reverse
>> engineering. of course the validity of a moravec-mind is needed as
>> well, but let's just make than an assumption for this case that can
>> (and I'm sure has) be discussed at length in other threads.
>> start with an immersive 3D gameworld with a simulation engine running
>> newtonian physics and genetic biology. there must be hundreds of
>> running codebases today that could be merged to provide this.
>> then, you reverse engineer the properties of an amoeba. you define
>> it's sequenced genome in logic, and you assign these properties and
>> abilities to in-game programmed objects, and then you let them loose
>> in a newtonian phyics based simworld with elements, seasons, sunlight
>> and resources. Remember that much of existing science, and physics
>> especially, is just reverse engineering; gravity existed long before
>> we named it so, as did carbon. We now have a very, very complete
>> understanding of the sub-cosmic and super-quantum realms; more than
>> enough to replicate organic existence with incredible realism.
>> now we know all the answers to how this world should behave, and how
>> this ameoba should develop, as it's already happened in our past; we
>> have a perfect history of it all preserved for comparison. if the
>> world starts to diverge markedly, you can tweak the ratios that
>> determine random changes via scarcity of resources, overpopulation,
>> climate change etc that drive evolutionary development. you can
>> program the basic imperatives of an amoeba; feed, grow, compete,
>> survive, divide. yes, the simulation is more complex than my basic
>> examples. but I think rigorous apllication of attention to detail
>> could overcome any inconsistencies or incompleteness.
>> if you build on this, again and again, in painstaking detail, you
>> should eventually get to something substantial. how many data points
>> are required to map the complete genetic evolutionary development from
>> an ameoba to a fieldmouse? alot? sure. an infinite amount? no. we have
>> those records, preserved for posterity in thin layers of earth; we can
>> trace every step, and then provide a mirror environment to reproduce
>> it. and if we can get from ameoba-like to mouse-like satisfactorily,
>> can we then progress our bottom-up approach from mouse-like to, well,
>> dog-like? monkey-like? man-like? you tell me.
>> if this is all sounding too outlandish or complex to simulate at the
>> technical level, there's a another 80's tech staple thats coming out
>> if it's own winter to help out: Procedural Generation (PG). This is
>> how the gameworld terrains of 80's titles generated their in-game
>> enivronments when gig's of animations on a dvd weren't an option. This
>> procedural approach says you don't have to create a world by hand; you
>> just set up the rules, press go, and let the world generate itself.
>> This is also the technique used by demoscene developers; check out
>> what 64k(!) of procedural generation can do here:
>> Wil Wright is the gaming legend is currently championing this, and
>> Spore is the game due out this year which is currently knocking my
>> socks off.
>> the first third of this video is a must-watch:
>> and a writeup of the game (and PG) is here:
>> Wright isn't just using PG for textures or tiles; he's also using it
>> for biomechanics and evolutionary characteristics like swimming,
>> walking, hunting, killing, eating and mating. None of the in-game
>> creatures in Spore are modelled prior to installing the game. every
>> single one evolves using an array of possible physical development
>> paths to come to life as completely unique organisms that execute
>> motile ability in a completely (un)natural way. If you haven't watch
>> the video linked above, I'd recommend doing so now.
>> Now the interesting part to all this is that when playing Spore,
>> you'll be competing against AI-generated evolving orgranisms; and I
>> think if the simulation is realistic enough, and the properties of the
>> organisms detailed enough, then we'll be starting to enter the
>> god-mode lobby of the SA you lot have been fascinated with lately.
>> It seems more and more that if we use sufficently comprehensive narrow
>> AI to generate
>> simulations of our in-historic-light-cone world that we can create
>> glimpes of real intelligence in our simulations.
>> There are growing examples of in-game AI generating AGI-like eruptions
>> of higher-intelligence-like behaviour. One the recent (elder scrolls
>> iv?) mmorpg games had testers walk into a in-game-evolved
>> previously-unvisited villiage where none of the townspeople would let
>> them in. turns out the villiage guards had gotten drunk and gone
>> hunting and gotten lost, and then bandits had raided the villiage.
>> each narrow-AI indivdiual guard|bandit|townsperson had combined to
>> generate an effect more like that which could be envisioned by a
>> higher intellect.
>> there's also this older example from 2001:
>> "This ability to discriminate has already produced some real surprises
>> for testers and creators alike during development. In one situation,
>> there was a creature that kept losing a stone-throwing game to another
>> creature. To get revenge, the first creature heated a rock, planted it
>> in the pile of stones to be thrown and then fell on the floor laughing
>> when its rival burned its hands. All this happened without
>> intervention from the player."
>> -
>> The next-gen consoles with their Cell processors are supposedly ideal
>> for the 'Procedural Syntheisis' needed to implement Procedural
>> Generation - does this mean the next glimmer of basic AGI will come
>>from the living room instead of the lab?

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