International Summer School on AI and Games 2024

The 6th International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games will be held in Valletta, Malta, 17-21 June 2024!

The summer school is dedicated to the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in and for games. After introductory lectures that explain the background and key techniques in AI and games, the school will introduce participants the uses of AI for playing games, for generating content for games, and for modeling players.

This school is suitable for industrial game developers, designers, programmers and practitioners, but also for graduate students in games, artificial intelligence, design, human-computer interaction, and computational intelligence.

The main lecturers are Georgios N. Yannakakis and Julian Togelius, co-authors of the AI and Games textbook (http://www.gameaibook.org), the first comprehensive textbook on the use of AI in games. During the first phase of the school theoretical lectures will be complemented by guest lectures on special topics in game AI and by hands-on workshops given by world-leading practitioners. For the second phase of the school, we plan a game AI jam on the taught material.

The 6th International Summer School on AI and Games is organised by modl.ai

Modl.ai creates unique AI solutions that empower game developers and publishers around the world by automating the repetitive, time-consuming, and expensive parts of development and enhancing player engagement by embedding AI technology in key development stages. Modl.ai is paving the way for the future of game development through simulation and behaviour automation, making advanced AI and ML tools that were once exclusive to big studios available to everyone.

Partners

More partners will be revealed soon...

Main Organizers

Yannakakis

Georgios N. Yannakakis
Co-Founder & Research Director | modl.ai
Professor | IDG, University of Malta

Georgios N. Yannakakis (yannakakis.net) is a Co-Founder and Research Director (Malta) of modl.ai, and a Professor at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta. He is a leading expert in the game artificial intelligence research field with core theoretical contributions in machine learning, evolutionary computation, affective computing and player modelling, computational creativity and procedural content generation. He has published more than 300 papers and his work has been cited broadly. He has attracted funding from several EU and national research agencies and received multiple awards for published work in top-tier journals and conferences. His work has been featured in New ScientistScience MagazineThe GuardianLe Monde and other venues. He is regularly invited to give keynote talks at the most recognised conferences in his areas of research activity and has organised a few of the most respected conferences in the areas of game AI and game research. He is an IEEE Fellow for contributions to affective computing and artificial intelligence applied to games and the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Games. He has been an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games and the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing journals. He is the co-author of the Artificial Intelligence and Games Textbook.

Togelius

Julian Togelius
Co-Founder & Research Director | modl.ai
Associate Professor | NYU Tandon

Julian Togelius (julian.togelius.com) is a Co-Founder and Research Director (New York) of modl.ai, and an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. Previously, he was an Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Games Research, IT University of Copenhagen and among the founders of the procedural content generation research field. Togelius has introduced core procedural generation paradigms and frameworks for game content such as the Experience-driven Procedural Content Generation (EDPCG) framework and the Search-based Procedural Content Generation (SBPCG) paradigm which define two of the leading research trends within procedural content generation. EDPCG couples player experience modelling and procedural content generation so that game content is generated in a personalised manner for affecting the experience of the player and SBPCG offers a taxonomy for the generation of game content through search. He co-edited the first book on Procedural Content Generation in Games. Togelius' research has appeared in respected international media such as New Scientist, and Le Monde. He is the co-author of the Artificial Intelligence and Games textbook.

Guest Speakers

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Stephen Peacock
Head of Games AI | Keywords Studios

Stephen Peacock is head of Game AI at Keywords Studios. As the former Head of AI/ML for Games at AWS, he was responsible for the Go-To-Market strategy and global customer enablement, plus solution development in collaboration with internal engineering teams and strategic partners. With 20+ years’ experience in the video games industry, Stephen brings a passion for responsible tech use in supporting human creativity, storytelling and player safety. He plays a pivotal role in shaping KWS' approach to AI/ML globally and collaborates closely with leadership and cross-functional teams to pinpoint fresh opportunities for KWS clients.

MaximGumin

Maxim Gumin
Indie Developer

Maxim Gumin is an independent developer known for the Wave Function Collapse algorithm and the MarkovJunior probabilistic programming language. Wave Function Collapse has been broadly adapted for procedural generation of levels and structures across a range of games. Maxim is interested in constraint-based procedural generation, program synthesis and generative AI in general. He is also a PhD student at Brown University.

Sicong Li

Sicong Li
Software Engineer | Arm

Sicong Li has worked as a Software Engineer at Arm for 5 years. His day job involves the development of Arm Compute Library, an open-source neural network inference engine optimised for Arm IPs. Sicong has a master degree in Computer Science with a final year thesis about applying Reinforcement Learning based robotic arm controllers. He is passionate about the advancement of AI, and the merging of AI into game and arts. He has also participated in a couple of game jams with entries that used AI.

Ben Clark

Ben Clark
Staff Software Engineer | Arm

Ben Clark is an Arm Staff Software Engineer. He has worked at many gaming and graphics tools companies since 1997, with experience of most parts of the gaming pipeline. Ben joined Arm in 2019 and works as a Developer Advocate researching and publishing on making the most of new Arm technologies.

khalifa

Ahmed Khalifa
Indie Developer | GDC AI Summit Advisor

Ahmed Khalifa is an independent game designer and developer from Egypt. His work focuses on creating minimalist games that utilize level generation and simplistic mechanics. Some of his games were nominated for awards at multiple game conferences such as IndiePrize, Queer Games Conference, International Mobile Game Awards, and Melbourne Queer Games Festival. He is also one of the GDC AI summit advisors and an AI researcher focusing on Content Generation.

sun

Yuqian Sun
Indie Artist | Ada Eden

Yuqian Sun is an AI narrative researcher and artist based in London. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Computer Science Research Centre, Royal College of Art. Focusing on the power of language, Yuqian aims to create 'alive' storytelling experiences through conversational AI, extending beyond games and permeating daily life. Her exploration spans chatbots, games, and experimental art projects. Yuqian’s works have been presented at various tech and art venues, including SIGGRAPH, CVPR, Gamescom, FDG, AIIDE, New York Times Square, and the Lumen Prize. She was also a guest panellist at NVIDIA GTC and an invited speaker at Autodesk.

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Tommy Thompson
Director | AI and Games
Host | Branching Factor

Dr Tommy Thompson is the director of AI and Games and provides consultancy and communication services for artificial intelligence technologies in the video games industry. He is largely known as a content creator on AI for video games, hosting both the YouTube channel 'AI and Games', as well as the 'Branching Factor' podcast.  Before his work in the industry, Tommy was a university lecturer for 10 years in computer science and game development, authoring over 50 academic publications in game/AI research.

tim_pearce

Tim Pearce
Research Scientist | Microsoft Research

Tim is a research scientist at Microsoft Research in the Game Intelligence team. He has expertise in imitation learning, world models, and uncertainty estimation in neural networks. Tim completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, spending time at the Alan Turing Institute, and did a postdoc at Tsinghua University.

renaudie

David Renaudie
Lead Data Scientist | Massive Entertainment

David Renaudie is Lead Data Scientist at Massive Entertainment - a Ubisoft Studio. With a Ph.D. in applied machine learning and a passion for solving real-world challenging problems with AI, he occupied in the past decade several positions in research & development and intellectual property in the industry. As a data scientist, he contributed to bring early machine learning prototypes to production-grade products, for several key projects.
In the gaming industry, he is leading a data science team that supports game productions with advanced data processing solutions, pursuing the goal of enhancing player experience and production tools. He constantly aims at pushing boundaries of what data science brings to the complex art of crafting AAA video games, and published in recognized conferences such as Game Developers Conference, IEEE Conference on Games or IEEE Big Data Conference. He is presently working on several projects related to main franchises of the studio, namely Tom Clancy's The Division 2, Avatar Frontiers of Pandora, and Star Wars Outlaws.

More guest speakers will be revealed soon...

Organizing Committee

antonios

Antonios Liapis
Associate Professor | IDG, University of Malta

Antonios Liapis is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta, where he bridges the gap between game technology and game design in courses focusing on human-computer creativity, digital prototyping and game development. His research focuses on Artificial Intelligence as an autonomous creator or as a facilitator of human creativity. His work includes computationally intelligent tools for game design, as well as computational creators that blend semantics, visuals, sound, plot and level structure to create horror games, adventure games and more. He has also co-organized numerous game jams, and has participated in even more!

melhart

David Melhart
Senior Member of Technical Staff | modl.ai
Postdoctoral Researcher | IDG, University of Malta

David Melhart is a Senior Engineer at modl.ai and a part-time Postdoctoral AI Researcher at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta. His research focuses on User Research, Player Modelling, Annotation Tools for Affective Computing, and Ethics in Game AI. He was a keynote speaker and panellist at the 26th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2023 - Ethics of Game AI Workshop EGAI @ ECAI 2023, Communication Chair of FDG 2020, Workshop and Panels Chair of FDG2023, has been a recurring Organizer and Publicity Chair of the Summer School series on Artificial Intelligence and Games (2018-2024), and currently serves as an Editorial Assistant to the IEEE Transactions on Games.

Program

We are still working on our program, it is subject to change!

Monday 17 June
08:00-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:30Welcome Session
09:30-10:30AI and Games: Introduction
Georgios N. Yannakakis & Julian Togelius
10:30-11:30AI that Plays
Julian Togelius
11:30-12:00Coffee Break
12:00-13:00AI that Designs
Julian Togelius
13:00-14:00Lunch
14:00-15:00AI that Experiences
Georgios N. Yannakakis
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-16:30TBA
16:30-17:30Free Time
from 17:30Welcome Reception
Tuesday 18 June
09:30-10:30Frontiers in PCG
Julian Togelius & Georgios Yannakakis
10:30-11:30Labs at Keywords Studios
Labs at Keywords Studios
11:30-12:00Coffee Break
12:00-13:00Maxim Gumin
Indie Developer
13:00-14:00Lunch
14:00-15:00Across the Magic Circle: AI Agents for Playful Storytelling
Yuqian Sun
AdaEden
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-16:30Ahmed Khalifa
GDC AI Summit Advisor
Wednesday 19 June
09:30-10:30Frontiers in Player Modeling
Georgios Yannakakis
10:30-11:30Labs at Keywords Studios
Labs at Keywords Studios
11:30-12:00Coffee Break
12:00-13:00David Renaudie
Massive Entertainment
13:00-14:00Lunch
14:00-15:00Panel Discussion
Host: Tommy Thompson
AI and Games
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-16:30Verbal Interaction with NPCs in Games
Sicong Li
ARM
Thursday 20 June
09:30-10:30Tim Pearce
Microsoft Research
10:30-11:30Ubisoft
Ubisoft
11:30-12:00Coffee Break
12:00-13:00Workshop on Unity ML-Agents
Ben Clark
ARM
13:00-14:00Lunch
14:00-15:00Game AI Jam
Facilitator: Antonios Liapis
University of Malta
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-16:30Game AI Jam
Friday 21 June
09:30-10:30Game AI Jam
Facilitator: Antonios Liapis
University of Malta
10:30-11:30
11:30-12:00Coffee Break
12:00-13:00Game AI Jam
13:00-14:00Lunch
14:00-15:00Game AI Jam
15:00-15:30Coffee Break
15:30-16:30Game AI Jam
16:30-17:30Game AI Jam - Arcade
17:30-18:30Free Time
18:30-19:00Closing Remarks and Game Jam Awards
19:00-19:30Farewell Reception

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Read more on our previous Summer Schools below!

Registration

Our exclusive in-person event offers a great selection of live lectures & workshops by industry-leading experts, one-on-one speed meetings with the organizers, networking opportunities with our guest speakers, and a game AI jam at the end of the summer school!

We have a limited number of seats available. Be sure to secure your seat early by registering for the event below! Keep in mind that this year's event will only run in-person!

Please make sure that you provide the name, email, and affiliation of the attendee for the registration during the purchase. We will use this name and email address to keep track of your registration and notify you about the event.

Early Bird Registration
until 1 March 2024
TicketPrice
Student/Indie Developer€400.00 +25% VAT (€100.00)REGISTER
Research Faculty€500.00 +25% VAT (€125.00)REGISTER
Industry Professional€750.00 +25% VAT (€187.50)REGISTER

If you missed your chance, don't worry, we will be opening up more tickets once the Early Bird registration period is over. If you don't want to miss the tickets or other updates regarding our events please consider subscribing to our Newsletter and following us on Social Media!

Main Conference Venue

The 6th International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games will be held in Valletta, Malta at the University of Malta Campus, Aula Magna

Accommodation

Malta offers a lot of different types of accommodations, however, it is worth keeping in mind that because of the small size of the island, most places offer a limited amount of rooms. Besides traditional hotels and hostels, renting out apartments is quite common. Below you can find some highlighted options for accommodations*.

Valletta
Valletta and Floriana
Walking Distance from the Venue

The Embassy Valletta Hotel
Four-star hotel in Valletta centre
~ €260/night

Grand Hotel Excelsior
Five-star hotel in Floriana, just outside Valletta
~ €245/night

The Cumberland Hotel by NEU Collective
High-end boutique hotel
~ €210/night

Luciano Valletta Studio
Studio apartments in Valletta
~ €160/night

Valletta Collection
Apartments at different locations in Valletta
~ €105/night

Mandera's Boutique Suites & Dorms
Boutique hotel with private suits and dormitory beds
~ €151/night - private room
~ €72/night - dormitory bed

Northern Harbour
Msida, Ta'Xbiex, Gzira, Sliema
~30-40 minutes by bus from the Venue

115 The Strand Hotel
Three-star hotel on the Gzira waterfront
~ €108/night

Aparthotel Adagio Malta Central
Apartments in Msida near the Msida University Campus
~ €102/night

Chapter 5 Hotel
Boutique Hotel in Ta'Xbiex near the Msida Yacht Marina
~ €100/night

Citizen Suites
Apartments and dormitory in Sliema
~ €120/night - studio apartment
~ €62/night - dormitory bed

Sliema Marina Hotel
Three-star hotel in Sliema near the Valletta ferry
~ €63/night

Alborada Apart Hotel
Small Apartments in the middle of Sliema near the Valletta ferry
~ €50/night

Budget Options
Msida University Campus and St Julian's
~40 minutes by bus from the Venue

Hostel Malti Budget
Hostel with private rooms and dormitory in St Julian's
~ €96/night - private room
~ €28/night - dormitory bed

Boho Hostel
Hostel close to the Balluta Bay bus station in St Julian's
~ €85/night - private room
~ €26/night - dormitory bed

Campus Hub
Student Hotel in the Msida University Campus
~ €32/night - private room
~ €21/night - dormitory bed

NSTS Campus Residence
Student Hostel in Gzira, near the Msida University Campus
~ €23/night - private room
~ €16/night - dormitory bed

Renting Single Apartments

For more options, we recommend taking a look at both Booking.com and AirBnB for single apartments which are available in the area. For quick access to the Venue, we recommend looking at options in Valletta, Floriana (within walking distance), Pieta, Msida, Ta'Xbiex, Gzira, Sliema, St Julian's (~30-40 minutes by bus).

*The listed prices are for informative purposes only. The organizers of the International Summer School on AI and Games have no affiliation with the listed providers, and cannot guarantee either the prices or the availability.