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« Seahaven Towers Revisted | Main | Raw Compute »

Saturday, 26 January 2019


John B

A colleague was using neural nets for weather forecasting in the mid '90s. They never got much traction, though back propagation techniques are part of the key solvers.

I'm not surprised computer games can be brute-forced, as the game's difficulty is set by the designer introducing rules and complexity to a level a player can't handle at the turn rate. Real Time Strategy games could always be won by micro-managing, but its the real-time aspect that makes it a challenge. Turn based games might seem a fairer playing field, but again what Civ player doesn't take shortcuts.

AIs vs games are just exposing the rules of the designers. AIs vs the real world is much more interesting, as you can't argue that its the laws of physics that are being revealed, as they layers of complexity and randomness hide them so well

Paul M. Cray

As the Weasel has indicated, there were people trying to do stuff with neural nets for hydroinformatics in the late 1990s/early 2000s and not getting very far, but that was probably a combination of Moore's law, inadequate tools and ill-defined problems.

As you indicate, the physics or real-world problems are in, a way, much more interesting because you can't cheat nature and to the extent that you can, it is telling you something interesting and useful.

I'm certainly though to see to what AlphaStar-like systems can be games like "Civilization". Would it just be a case of having enough raw compute to train the system?

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