International Summer School on AI and Games 2023

The 5th International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games will be held in Cambridge, United Kingdom, 26-30 June 2023 at the Microsoft Research Campus! The event will be co-organized by and Microsoft Research.

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 (, 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 5th International Summer School on AI and Games is co-organised
by and Microsoft Research. 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.

Microsoft Research aims to accelerate scientific discovery and technology innovation to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more by bringing together the best minds across diverse disciplines and backgrounds to take on the most pressing research challenges for Microsoft and for society.


New partners will be revealed soon...

Main Organizers


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

Georgios N. Yannakakis ( is a Co-Founder and Research Director (Malta) of, 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 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 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 is currently the Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions in 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.


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

Julian Togelius ( is a Co-Founder and Research Director (New York) of, 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.


Sam Devlin
Principal Researcher | Microsoft Research

Sam is a Principal Researcher in the Deep Reinforcement Learning for Games group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. He received his PhD on multi-agent reinforcement learning in 2013 from the University of York; was a postdoc from 2013 to 2015, working on game analytics; and then was on the faculty from 2016 until joining Microsoft in 2018. Devlin has published more than 50 papers on reinforcement learning and game AI in leading academic venues and presents regularly at games industry events including Develop and the Game Developers Conference (GDC).

Guest Speakers


Wesley Kerr
Head of Technology Research | Riot Games

Wesley Kerr is the Head of Technology Research at Riot Games where he leads a team who is building out Riot’s technology research capabilities. He leads a team that focuses on tackling the most challenging problems that unlock better experiences for our players. His team works closely with various teams at Riot, and the team scales our impact through partnerships with industry and academia.
At Riot, he created and led an artificial intelligence (AI) innovation center consisting of a team of 5+ scientists and engineers performing research and deploying distributed deep reinforcement learning for multiple Riot games.

For League of Legends, he developed, deployed, and analyzed recommendation algorithms to power our Your Secret Shop experience and launched the Year in Review product that processed all players game data for the previous year in order to create a personalized experience including champion recommendations. Outside of Riot, Wesley worked for Google Research on improving search and discovery for games in the Google Play Store.
Wesley is passionate about using machine learning and AI to create healthier, safer, and more inclusive experiences for games. During his tenure at Riot, he has worked closely with the Player Dynamics team to aid in their efforts to build gaming structures that foster more rewarding social experiences and mitigating disruptive behavior.
He holds a PhD from the University of Arizona in Computer Science where he performed research at the intersection of game development and artificial intelligence.  When not keeping up with the latest trends in AI, you can find Wesley fly-fishing in a river in the mountains.


Duygu Cakmak
R&D Director | Creative Assembly

Duygu Cakmak is the R&D Director at Creative Assembly for the BAFTA award-winning Total War series. She oversees the R&D strategy and direction for the franchise. With a diverse background ranging from game AI development to software engineering, she joined Creative Assembly in 2015 first as an AI programmer, then moved to a Project Technical Director role. Duygu won the 2019 MCV Women In Games Awards for the Technical Impact of the Year.


Katja Hofmann
Senior Principal Researcher | Microsoft Research

Katja Hofmann is a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. She leads a team that focuses on Deep Reinforcement Learning for Games, with the mission to advance the state of the art in reinforcement learning, driven by current and future applications in video games. She and her team share the belief that games will drive a transformation of how people interact with AI technology. Her long-term goal is to develop AI systems that learn to collaborate with people, to empower their users and help solve complex real-world problems.


Tom Minka
Senior Principal Researcher | Microsoft Research

Tom Minka is a researcher in machine learning with a focus on Bayesian probabilistic inference. He developed the TrueSkill ranking system used in competitive games since Halo 3, the TrueMatch matchmaking system used in Gears 5 and Halo Infinite, and the Expectation Propagation algorithm that underlies various AI systems.


Anssi Kanervisto
Researcher | Microsoft Research

Before joining the Deep Reinforcement Learning for Games team at MSR Cambridge, Anssi spent his university years participating to game AI competitions (Doom, Minecraft and Obstacle Tower Challenge), figuring out ways to make the agents better. His PhD research consisted of studying and summarizing simpler ways of improving the training of reinforcement or imitation learning agents, e.g., by selecting the right set of actions for agent to use. Later in his career he also organized Minecraft AI competitions and maintained stable-baselines RL library, and currently is working on imitation learning at scale.


Marek Rosa
Founder and CEO | Good AI
CEO | Keen Software House

Marek Rosa is the founder and CEO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and Keen Software House, an independent game development studio, started in 2010, and best known for its best-seller Space Engineers (nearing 5 million copies sold).
Marek has been interested in game development and artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer and later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to fund GoodAI in 2014 with a $10 Million personal investment.

Both companies now have over 100 engineers, researchers, artists, and game developers. Marek's primary focus is the development of Space Engineers, VRAGE3 engine, AI Game, and Memetic Badger.
GoodAI's mission is to develop AGI - as fast as possible - to help humanity and understand the universe. One of the commercial stepping stones is the "AI game," which features LLM-driven NPCs grounded in the game world with developing personalities and long-term memory. GoodAI also works on autonomous agents that can self-improve and solve any task that a human can.


Oskar Stålberg
Independent Game Developer

Oskar Stålberg is an independent video game developer behind the procedurally generated games Bad North and Townscaper.

Nick Yee
Co-Founder & Analytics Lead | Quantic Foundry

Nick Yee is the co-founder and analytics lead of Quantic Foundry. For over two decades, he has conducted research on the psychology of gaming and virtual worlds using a wide variety of methods. At Stanford University, he used immersive virtual reality to explore how avatars can change the way people think and behave. At the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), he applied social network analysis and predictive analytics to examine large-scale World of Warcraft data.
He was a senior research scientist in Ubisoft’s Gamer Behavior Research group where he combined data science and social science methods to generate actionable player insights for different game development teams.

At Quantic Foundry, he leads the research and development of new tools and approaches for understanding the motivations of game audiences. He is the author of "The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us—And How They Don’t”.

Organizing Committee


Antonios Liapis
Senior Lecturer | IDG, University of Malta

Antonios Liapis is a Senior 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!


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

David Melhart is a Senior Engineer at and a part-time AI Researcher at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta. His research specializes in User Research, Player Modelling, and Annotation Tools for Affective Computing. David earned his PhD in AI and Games Research at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta in 2021. He was the 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 (2018-2023), and currently serves as an Editorial Assistant to the IEEE Transactions on Games, Guest Associate Editor on the User States in Extended Reality Media Experiences for Entertainment Games Special Issue of Frontiers in Virtual Reality and Human Behaviour, and Review Editor of Frontiers in Human-Media Interaction.

Local Organizer


Tim Pearce
Research Scientist | Microsoft Research

Tim is a research scientist at Microsoft Research in the Deep Reinforcement Learning for Games team. He has expertise in imitation learning 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.


We are still working on this year's program...

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In the meantime, to get an idea about the upcoming program, you can read more about our past Summer Schools below!


Regular Registration lasts until 26 May! After May 26 late fees apply. Because we host this year's Summer School at the Microsoft Research Campus, we have a very 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!

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!

The registration includes coffee breaks, lunches for 5 days, and 2 reception dinners (welcome and farewell) as well.

Student/Indie Developer€500.00 (VAT incl.)
1 tickets left
Research Faculty€575.00 (VAT incl.)
6 tickets left
Industry Professional€850.00 (VAT incl.)
6 tickets left

While we don't host a virtual event this year, we are planning to release some of the industry talks publically for free after the summer school.

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 5th International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Games will be held in Cambridge, United Kingdom 26-30 June 2023 at the Microsoft Research Campus


Clayton Hotel
Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2JW
T: +44 1223 792888

YHA Cambridge
97 Tenison Road, Cambridge, CB1 2DN
T: +44 345 371 9728

Ibis Cambridge
2 Station Square, Cambridge, CB1 2GA
T: +44 (0)1223320960

The Gonville Hotel
Gonville Place, Cambridge, CB1 1LY
T: +44 1223 366611 E: [email protected]

Granta Place Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RT
T: +44 1223 259988

Hilton Cambridge City Centre Hotel
Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DT
T: +44 1223 46449