Summer School Description
For the fourth International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games, we are returning to Chania, Greece! Join us between August 29 and September 2, 2022!
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.
Previous Summer Schools
The 4th International Summer School on AI and Games is organised by modl.ai.
Modl.ai creates unique AI solutions that empower game developers around the world by automating game development and enhancing player engagement by embedding AI technology in key development stages.
Georgios N. Yannakakis
Georgios N. Yannakakis (yannakakis.net) is a Co-Founder and Research Director (Malta) of modl.ai, and Professor and Director of the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta. He is a leading expert of 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 220 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 Scientist, Science Magazine, The Guardian, Le Monde and other venues. He is regularly invited to give keynote talks in 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 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 currently an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions in Games. He is the co-author of the Artificial Intelligence and Games Textbook.
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 Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Games (launch in January 2018) and the co-author of the Artificial Intelligence and Games textbook.
Introduction to the Summer School and Game AI
This session is dedicated to introducing the format of the summer school and explaining how artificial intelligence techniques can be used in and for games. After an introductory part that will focus on the history, background and key techniques used in AI and games, we will outline how to best use AI algorithms to play games, to generate content for games and to model players.
Search-Based and Constructive Procedural Content Generation
Machine Learning-Based, Mixed-Initiative and Experience-Driven Procedural Content Generation
Once we have obtained reliable models of players the next obvious question is how we can possibly design appropriate games for them. Games that have both the necessary aesthetic elements and functional properties for their designers and players. Methods derived from procedural content generation can be coupled with player models to yield entirely novel and personalised content for each player or designer. With such technology we can debug the experience attributed to each content type we design in an autonomous or a designer-assisted way.
How can we possibly detect behavioral patters, experiences elicited and decision made by players in a reliable manner? In this talk we will be taking you through the full cycle of the game affective loop with a focus on game experience elicitation, experience annotation and machine learning for the creation of models of players. The player modeling technology we will introduce is directly applicable for modeling both behavioral (player analytics) and experience aspects of play.
AI for Playing Games
Game AI Jam Facilitator and Guest Lecturer
Lecturer at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta.
Antonios Liapis is a Lecturer 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!
Game AI Jam
During the last two afternoons of the Summer School, we will participate in a game AI jam, facilitated by Antonios Liapis. During the jam students will work in teams, focusing on creating a game environment for applying or testing the algorithms discussed during the remainder of the school. Alternatively, teams can also create a tool rather than a full game, such as a generator for game content (levels, graphics, audio...). The two-day jam will conclude with a "demo hour" where all students and lecturers can see and play with the different projects, and talk to each other about best practices and lessons learned.
Webmaster and Publicity Chair
AI Researcher at modl.ai
David Melhart is an AI Researcher for Modl.ai, specializing in User Research and Player Modelling. He was the Communication Chair of FDG 2020 and has been a recurring organizer and Publicity Chair of the Summer School series on Artificial Intelligence and Games (2018-2022). With more than a dozen publications, an industry collaboration with Ubisoft, and multiple conference appearances behind his back, he is an experienced presenter. David earned his Ph.D. in AI and Games Research at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta in 2021. He received a master's degree in Cognition and Communication from the University of Copenhagen in 2016. His academic research focuses on Machine Learning and Affective Computing.
Summer School Program
We are still working on our schedule! Don't miss the update! Subscribe to our mailing list!
Timeslots in the program correspond to the CEST timezone.
Our full program will be announced soon...
Expectations on Participants
While the Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games is open to participants at varying levels of expertise and seniority, you will get more out of your participation in the summer school if you come equipped with some conceptual and technical knowledge. In particular, the following topics are worth touching up on, or reading up on if you do not already know them:
Tree search algorithms: informed and uninformed search (depth-first, breadth-first, A*); game tree search (Minimax); Monte Carlo Tree Search.
Machine learning: basic concepts (supervised, unsupervised, reinforcement learning); neural networks; decision trees.
If you are unsure about your level of understanding of artificial intelligence and machine learning, try reading Chapter 2 ("AI Methods") of the Artificial Intelligence and Games book, which covers these topics. You will find pointers there to material that can help you refresh your knowledge of particular topics.
Programming: it greatly helps to be able to program in some language. Which particular language is of lesser importance. Wherever possible, examples will be given in pseudocode so as to facilitate understanding across language barriers. However, some examples may be given in e.g. Python, Java or C#. The various tutorials and hands-on workshops are expected to use different frameworks and languages. We will add the list of specific language requirements per tutorial the closer we approach the school.
Game engines: knowledge of a game engine such as Unity will be useful during the concluding game AI jam.
Bringing your own laptop is similarly beneficial for participating in the practical sessions. We will not be able to provide a laptop for you during the summer school.
Apart from this, we only need you to come equipped with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
We want the First Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games to be joyful as well as useful occasion for all of us. Remember that participants come from many different countries, backgrounds, and experience, and treat everyone with respect and kindness. Please talk to the organisers if we can do something to improve your experience.
Software Guidelines for Participants
The various hands-on tutorials require different software installed on your laptops. To make the most of the tutorials please have the following software installed and prepared.
More details will be announced before the summer school.
Registration dates will be announced soon!
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you will be asked to verify your studentship or employment status before the Summer School dates.
The Summer School venue will be held at the Minoa Palace Resort Hotel.