December 15, 2003

G.O.P. A.I., or Being Karl Rove

by Andrew Stern · , 9:04 am

I’ve always thought that good conversational virtual characters would require the skills of a politician, to respond to the player’s “off-topic” or “uncooperative” dialog by cleverly and believably turning the conversation back to topics that the virtual character knows or wants to talk about. We certainly do a lot of this in Facade, as needed.

Loebner contest (“The First Turing Test”) winners Kevin Copple and Robby Garner have teamed up with some Chinese researchers to create “AI Bush“:

Play the strategy game “Reelect Bush?” and see if GWB gets reelected, or not. You are a close advisor, whispering into George’s ear. He needs your help making decisions and answering pesky trivia questions that affect his chances of reelection, not to mention the effects various decisions can have on his conscience. GWB’s expressions, voice clips, and tracking polls tell you how things are going.

Yeah, darn those pesky trivia questions about weapons of mass destruction, global warming, etc.

Wait, there’s more:

If you’re out sabotage the Bush family plan, be careful. He isn’t called AI Bush for nothing. He may spot a trend in your devious advice and rely more on his own algorithms to maintain a grip. Better to hold back a little and wait for a moment of weakness.

I wonder if Karl Rove was a beta-tester?

Also, “AI Bush is always eager to play Blackjack, Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Guess-the-Number.” They really are going for realism here, aren’t they?

Seriously, this sounds pretty interesting. The name of their new group / company is EllaZ, “the home of Artful Intelligence”. (via KurzweilAI newsfeed)