morphism game theory to set weights
for deep neural networks, how to
detect affordances from game play
traces, and an analysis of action-space
reward structures in games. Natural
language processing was also discussed, in the context of automatically
extracting story graphs from natural
language stories as well as a short paper
discussing the gap between computational narrative and natural language
A deep study of games and game
strategies, enabled and inspired by AI
techniques, was another popular topic.
Presentations included a formal analysis of depth in strategic games, using AI
agents to evaluate modern board
games using search-driven play testing
and methods for discovering efficient
strategies for Minesweeper. Procedural
content generation, a popular area of
games research where game content
such as levels, maps, and characters are
created algorithmically, was covered in
the contexts of large-scale search, cognitively grounded procedural content
generation, and generating content for
game spectators as opposed to game
The impact of AI and games on players, modern humans, games research,
and humanity’s history was discussed
in several presentations. These varied
topics included ethical considerations
for player modeling, an anthropological study of ancient games as a new AI
frontier, the ability to better match
players for more positive game experiences, and a discussion of how reliance
on certain types of AI methods may be
limiting our research.
We concluded the event with a pan-
el on What’s Next for AI in the Games
Industry, with highly experienced pan-
elists Robin Hunicke (Funomena,
ThatGameCompany, University of
California, Santa Cruz), Frank Lantz
(New York University Game Center,
Area/Code Entertainment, Zynga New
York), Ben Weber (Twitch, EA), and
Alexander Zook (Riot Games, Blizzard
Entertainment), moderated by Aaron
Isaksen (Indie Fund, Fig, New York
University Game Innovation Lab). The
panel addressed many interesting top-
ics including how artificial intelligence
will change the tools and methods by
which games are made, new types of
games and game genres enabled by AI,
and the impact of AI on the game
industry and game education.
The presentations and panel were
live streamed, and a recording is avail-
able online at www.youtube.com/
The What’s Next for AI in Games?
workshop was organized by Nathan R.
Sturtevant, Aaron Isaksen, Julian
Togelius, and Jichen Zhu. This report
was written by Aaron Isaksen, Nathan
Sturtevant, Julian Togelius, and Jichen
Zhu. The papers presented at the workshop were published as AAAI Technical
Report WS- 17-15 in the AAAI Digital
Library and included in The Workshops
of the Thirty-First AAAI Conference on
Artificial Intelligence: Technical Reports
WS-17-01 – WS- 17-15 compilation.
Monica Anderson is an associate professor
at the University of Alabama.
Roman Barták is a professor at Charles University, Czech Republic.
John S. Brownstein is affiliated with Boston
Children’s Hospital, Harvard University.
David L. Buckeridge is affiliated with
Hoda Eldardiry leads the machine-learning
group at Palo Alto Research Center.
Christopher Geib is an associate professor
at Drexel University.
Maria Gini is a professor at the University
Aaron Isaksen is a PhD candidate at New
Sarah Keren is affiliated with Technion University.
Robert Laddaga is a research professor at
Viliam Lisy is an assistant professor at the
Czech Technical University in Prague.
Rodney Martin is a research scientist at
NASA Ames Research Center.
David R. Martinez is an associate division
head at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Martin Michalowski is affiliated with the
University of Ottawa.
Loizos Michael is an assistant professor at
the Open University of Cyprus.
Reuth Mirsky is a PhD candidate at Ben-Gurion University.
Thanh Nguyen is a postdoctoral fellow at
University of Michigan.
Michael J. Paul is affiliated with the University of Colorado Boulder.
Enrico Pontelli is a professor at New Mexico State University.
Scott Sanner is an assistant professor at the
University of Toronto, Canada.
Arash Shaban-Nejad is affiliated with the
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Arunesh Sinha is an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan.
Shirin Sohrabi is a research staff member at
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.
Kumar Sricharan is a senior research scientist at Palo Alto Research Center.
Biplav Srivastava is a research staff member
at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.
Mark Stefik leads the human-machine collaboration group at Palo Alto Research Center.
William W. Streilein is a group leader at the
MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Nathan Sturtevant is an associate professor
at the University of Denver.
Kartik Talamadupula is a research staff
member at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center.
Michael Thielscher is a professor at the
University of New South Wales.
Julian Togelius is an associate professor at
New York University.
Son Cao Tran is a professor at New Mexico
Long Tran-Thanh is a lecturer at the University of Southampton.
Neal Wagner is a technical staff member at
the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Byron C. Wallace is affiliated with Northeastern University.
Szymon Wilk is affiliated with Poznan University of Technology, Poznan, Poland.
Jichen Zhu is an associate professor at Drexel University.