Event 1: Human-like Bots Competition


Human-like Bots Competition

Non-Player Characters (NPC) are video game characters fully controlled by autonomous computer programs. In the case of first-person shooter video games, these NPCs are usually known as "bots". Once a year since 2008, the 2K Botprize Competition challenges programmers to create a bot for the game "Unreal Tournament 2004" that can fool opponents into thinking it is another human player.
The competition was created and is organized by Associate Professor Philip Hingston, from Edith Cowan University, in Perth, Western Australia. To win the prize, a bot has to be indistinguishable from a human player. In the competition, computer-controlled bots and human players meet in multiple rounds of combat, while human players must try to guess which opponents are human. 
On the one hand, this kind of bots are of great interest for the videogames because people like to play against opponents who are like themselves, opponents with personality, who can take you by surprise, who sometimes make mistakes, yet don't blindly make the same mistakes over and over again.
On the other hand, from an academic point of view, the BotPrize competition is a form of a “Turing test” that is worth studying The Turing test was proposed, In 1950, by the British mathematician Alan Turing and basically consists in being able to distinguish if the responses in an interactive computer-human communication, come either from a computer or a human. To pass the test, means to develop a program that is capable of displaying intelligent behavior in such a way that it is indistinguishable from that of a human.
In the 100th anniversary of Turing’s birth, the ReteCog network, the College of Higher Engineering and Architecture and the Department of Computer Sciences and Systems Engineering from the University of Zaragoza, will coordinate a "human-like bots" competition for undergraduate students. 
The students participating will receive appropriate training in order to program non-player characters (NPCs) controlled by AI algorithms whose appearance can be seen as human as possible. In particular, they will be taught to use Pogamut to simplify the "physical" part of the agent that enables students to concentrate their efforts on the developing of interesting behaviours. These programmed bots will fight in a contest, similar to the BotPrize, taking place in the first quarter of 2013 in Zaragoza.


The event will be organized in collaboration with, 

Raúl Arrabales (University Center for Technology and Digital Art)

Raul Arrabales is the Head of the Engineering section at the Center for Technology and Digital Art (U-Tad). He is the designer of the Cognitive architecture CERA-CRANiUM and ConsScale, a machine consciousness scale designed for the evaluation of machine Consciousness implementations. He won, together with Jorge Muñoz, the 2K Botprize in 2010. He is co-founder of Comaware, an artificial consciousness software startup (Prize at the University Entrepreneur, 2011) 

Philip Hingston (Edith Cowan University)

Philip Hingston is researcher in artificial intelligence and computational intelligence, particularly evolutionary design, AI and CI in games, sequence modeling, and artificial evolution. He is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the  School of Computer and Security Scienceat Edith Cowan University, in Perth, Western Australia. He is the organizer of the BotPrize Contest, a Turing Test for bots, with a cash prize from sponsors 2K Games. He is Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games.