Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Entertainment

Joseph Bates, School of Computer Science and College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University March 18, 1994


Interactive entertainment is becoming an area actively studied by researchers, artists, and product developers. An ideal system would be highly interactive and yet have the emotional impact of such traditional media as the novel, film, and television. We believe this requires the computing system to make decisions during interaction that are normally made off-line by artists working in non-interactive media. Thus, artistic knowledge and capabilities must migrate into the machine to achieve the ideal of rich interactivity with the power of traditional media.

The Oz Project, an effort in CMU's School of Computer Science assisted by the Drama Department, English Department, and others, is exploring one variation of this theme. We want to provide users with the experience of living in dramatic simulated worlds that include engaging, believable characters. This talk summarizes the project, emphasizing our efforts to build broadly capable, but shallow, agents and to create a computational theory of interactive drama. Along with a theory of presentation style, we see these as the central topics in this research area.

One product of our work, an interactive world containing several emotional, animated creatures was shown at the AAAI-92 AI-based Arts Exhibition. I will show a video of this system (the "Woggles"), and it might be available for interactive use after the talk.


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