Human-Level AI's Killer Application: Interactive Computer Games

  • John Laird
  • Michael VanLent


Although one of the fundamental goals of AI is to understand and develop intelligent systems that have all the capabilities of humans, there is little active research directly pursuing this goal. We propose that AI for interactive computer games is an emerging application area in which this goal of human-level AI can successfully be pursued. Interactive computer games have increasingly complex and realistic worlds and increasingly complex and intelligent computer-controlled characters. In this article, we further motivate our proposal of using interactive computer games for AI research, review previous research on AI and games, and present the different game genres and the roles that human-level AI could play within these genres. We then describe the research issues and AI techniques that are relevant to each of these roles. Our conclusion is that interactive computer games provide a rich environment for incremental research on human-level AI.