And it isn’t even super-duper hard all the time.
For those not in the know on the latest and greatest of buzzwords and media hype (actually not the latest or greatest, but whatever), AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. It sounds complicated, sure, but it usually boils down to the computer figuring out what to do by looking at the current state of things, or something similar. There’s also computers that teach themselves things, but that’s starting to look more like that one scientific project where different institutions group together to make a supercomputer, and try to emulate the human brain.
In my case, it’s relatively simple. I have two blocks. One of them is, for example, and escaped criminal moving towards a destination, and the other is the cop trying to catch him. The cop chases, the criminal flees when the cop gets too close, otherwise moves towards his destination. Sounds simple, right? Well, the process consists of some steps.
Since we want the chasing cop to have some intelligence, he’ll take a look at the criminal’s speed and the direction in which he’s traveling. He uses that to calculate a point where the criminal will be in, say, two seconds, and moves towards that place.
The criminal needs to notice when the cop gets too close, and then move away from him. But he isn’t dumb, either! He’ll also be taking the cop’s future position into account. Once he’s outrun the cop though, he needs to get back to moving towards his destination.
Those steps, all separated, are pretty simple, but when combined you can make some pretty complex AI. And that’s the neat part, I think, that you can take these really basic “thought patterns”, so to speak, and combine them into a complex, seemingly living character that thinks for himself.
Now go out there and do something fun, it’s Friday night!