Fans of first-person shooters are well aware of the fact that virtual opponents work only as movable shooting targets. Bots implemented in FPS games do not sin intelligence. However, this may change soon. Researchers at the Irish University of Galway have developed artificial intelligence SEC (Skilled Experience Catalogue), which can prove itself as a coach of FPS players.
The idea of using artificial intelligence to compete with players is not a new idea. However, individual scientists have different approaches to this topic. Most people want artificial intelligence to compete in complicated games with professional players. These types of shows are very exciting and media. A lot of people read and willingly comments reports on man vs machine matches. However, Frank Glavin and Michael Madden approached this problem differently. Their goal was to develop a bot, which during the game would adapt their skills to the opponent’s ability. However, to make this possible, first the artificial intelligence must be properly taught. The acquired experience was stored in the Skilled Experience Catalogue. The whole trick was to have the individual patterns properly measured and classified them to a given skill level.
Artificial intelligence was trained in Unreal Tournament 2004
The researchers taught their bot using 30-minute matches conducted in unchanged conditions. All duels were in 1 on 1 mode on the same map and with the fixed level of advancement of the opponent. The SEC bot fought against the bots available in Unreal Tournament 2004. Perhaps this is not the best determinant, but scientists have justified their choice. Their project is currently at an early stage, which is why on the example of the script opponent (i.e. bot in UT 2004) they wanted to show that their algorithm can adapt to the level of the opponent. At the same time, both training and test fights were carried out on a small map (i.e. Training Day), which forces frequent clashes between players. However, the aiming algorithm was only trained on one weapon (in this case Assault Rifle).
Thanks to such a limited influence of external factors, the researchers could check whether their bot can classify their skills in terms of accuracy with the use of a specific weapon. A lot of time will pass before artificial intelligence can compete with humans in complicated FPS games that require not only accuracy and reflexes but also strategic thinking. However, the SEC bot seems to be a very promising solution. Perhaps this type of approach will allow the development of artificial intelligence, which will work as a sparring trainer for e-sportsmen.