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Myopic Rhino

AI Books

7 posts in this topic

I did an AI degree a few years back and after hunting around the house I couldnt find any of the text books. However I can offer these nuggets:

Academic AI is very much about tomfoolery such as Eliza & Perry, ie simple text parsers that picked up individual words and phrase constructs and replied to them with no intelligence whatsoever.

A lot of the time, i'm assuming you'll be working with languages such as Prolog and Lisp (I hated them) and I dont think they are particularly relevent to games programming.

However it's not all gloom and doom

Apart fom the aforementioned linguistics based gubbins, your course will cover such things as path finding (aka the travelling salesman) & tree searching which are heavily used in games design. If your lucky they'll also give you info on A-Life imho a far more useful, and probably successful approach to AI, look at stuff like the opengl paper planes / flock of birds.

Finally you may get to cover such esoterica such as vision processing.

After much rambling, i'd suggest looking at the ground up approach that produces complex emergent behaviours from simple approaches rather than emulation of higher order mental functions. Neural nets are probably of more value than Knowledge Bases

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The Russell/Norvig book, seems to be the book of choice for alot of intro AI courses. I have read it, and I found it to be a nice, general, treatment of alot of various AI topics, some of which are applicable to computer game AI and some which are not. For someone who is new to AI in general, I don't think you can go wrong by taking a course that uses that book.
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Russel and Norvig is indeed a fine book for begining AI. Although, by the fact you are GD staff, I expect you are not about to start a degree. I'd agree that bottom up AI (neural nets, a-life)is of far more use and interest than top down(language parsing) although you haven't specified the course so I really couldn't guess your personal interests.
However, read R+N, find the bits you like and research it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Thanks for the feedback. The AI course I am taking is the only one offered by my university, and it's the required text, so I am going to read it regardless, but it's nice to know the book is not useless.

The main reason I asked is I tend to do a lot of reading on my own outside, so if there are books more specific to game AI, I want to read those while I'm taking the course and after, to continue to expand my knowledge.

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I just finished AI in my Higher Diploma and the text book I used was Expert Systems and Applied Artificial Intelligence by Efraim Turban. It is a great book and easy to understand to boot. I know the AI book by Frank Luger is one filled with very high-level English, more or less like my Sociology books (not something I would recommend for the beginner). I just wanted to add that you should use Efraim Turban's book as one of your references. It certainly helped me a lot. Unfortunately, I don't think they are publishing the book anymore. I guess you will have to look it up in your library. Good luck in your AI class =)
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Myopic Rhino
The book you're going to use is the most common book. It's recommended by a lot of instances, including well-known programmers who read it.

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Dance with me......

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Myopic Rhino
The book you are going to use is the most common book used. it's recommended by programmers and certain instances...

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Dance with me......

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I'm beginning an AI course in a few weeks, and the text being used is Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. I'd just like to get an idea of what people think about this book and particular, as well as which books are considered to be the "standard" books for AI in general and AI in games specifically.

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Dave "Myopic Rhino" Astle

Webmaster, GameDev.net
Director of Development, Myopic Rhino Games: www.jps.net/mrhino
Software Engineer, ROI Systems: www.roisys.com

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