One of the things I find interesting about artificial intelligence (A.I) is its intersection with philosophy. I read that Blizzard uses some sort of “think” routine for each of the units in its Real Time Strategy (RTS) games (Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, etc…) So, while I’m sitting here trying to design different A.I. models for a project, I found myself considering whether I should incorporate a similar think routine for the units in the game. The idea being that the main A.I. manager would ask the units “what do you think you should be doing?”
What would a peasant want to do? Well, in the game there are buildings to build, wood to harvest and gold to collect, but wouldn’t he rather just sit there? So, I concluded that peasants shouldn’t think for themselves and perhaps there should be a manager thinking for the peasants.
Another philosophical observation occurred when I was working on a Pac-man game. In a certain implementation, Pac-man would always work to maximize his score. So, if Pac-man realized, through heuristic search, that he was trapped and would inevitably die, he would dive-bomb a ghost, as each second alive decreased his score, like a good utilitarian.