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What would YOU like to see in the GDC AI Summit?
by Dave Mark on 11/03/11 02:07:00 pm   Expert Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

As many of you know, the AI Game Programmers Guild is responsible for producing the content for the AI Summit at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. For the past month, we have already begun work on preparing for the 2012 event. (Yes, we start 6 months in advance!)

Over the past 3 years, we have refined our preparation process to something we feel generates high-quality content. This process typically involves the guild members discussing which topics "need to be covered" each year and then staffing those topics with people who have relevant things to contribute. This differs from many conferences where the content is drawn largely from what speakers want to talk about. We believe our process is more attendee-focused in that we are trying to anticipate what our attendees would like -- or even need -- to hear.

This year, however, we wanted to put in another twist. Now that we have a fancy new public face for the AIGPG, we wanted to be able to draw in the AI community as a whole to the discussion. That is, what is it that you want to learn more about from an event such as the GDC AI Summit? Things that we would like to know from you include:

  • What techniques or architectures do you want to hear more about?
  • What recent games have had AI that piqued your interest?
  • What types of advice would you like to hear from professional AI developers?

This request is not without its caveats, however. For example, please note that the AI Summit is not meant to be an entry-level tutorial on AI. We decided when we started this that there are plenty of sources from which people can learn the basics of game AI. While we have had sessions that are geared more towards people new to AI, you will not find us spending time on "what is a finite state machine?"

Really, that's not what GDC is about anyway. GDC is about cutting edge... the "latest and greatest". I would add that the AI Summit has also been about the mysterious and esoteric, as well. That is, what is off the beaten path? What are the experts using that might be of help to other AI developers?

Another disclaimer here is that we can't necessarily take into account all suggestions we may get from the public. The number of session slots we have each year is limited -- usually 10-12 hours over the two days. While it has been suggested that we could easily fill an entire week with content, it is just not feasible for us to do so. (By combining 2-3 speakers per hour-long topic session, we already cram more information into our two days than is humanly possible to digest!) Still, we would like to hear what other ideas are out there so we can at least take them into account.

So, we turn to you... it doesn't matter if you are a professional game developer, a student, or an enthusiast -- whether you are planning on going to GDC or not -- what are the things you would like to hear about if you were to be hanging out with us for those 2 days? What's on your mind?

Please feel free to comment here or on this thread ... and know that the 240 members of the AI Game Programmers Guild are listening!

Also, feel free to follow the AI Game Programmers Guild on Twitter and comment there!

(This post originally appeared on the AI Game Programmers Guild site on 11/2/2011.)


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