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An Austrian research institute has developed what they call a “Neurotic AI“.

The Austrian researchers want games to be more engaging by having emotional, not just coolly calculating, computer players. Instead of just challenging your rational planning and decision skills, you’ll have use your emotional intelligence too.

They have created a few versions of the AI for the “Age of Mythology” RTS game, based on “the big five” emotional dimensions:

In psychology, the Big Five personality traits are five broad factors or dimensions of personality discovered through empirical research. These factors are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

(Quoted from The New Scientist Blog)


The AIs are able to switch between “emotional states” in response to gameplay events, based on their programmed personality. The neurotic AI was more prone to distorting the input it had received and change its emotional state in extreme directions accordingly. Surprisingly, this allowed it to win more matches than all other AI personalities!


The next step of the research, of course, is to pit the emotion-enhanced AI player against humans. This will be the real test for this kind of AI, which might finally create a worthy opponent for us human players. Today’s standard AIs’ formulaic predictability is no match for anyone who’s more than a casual gamer, and only serve as early learning tools or punching bags.

StarCraft 1 had its share of customized AIs – take a look at this project, for example. While Blizzard’s Map Maker series of Q&As have revealed several details about the upcoming customization tools, the ability to develop complex emotion and feedback-driven AIs using ScumEdit’s C-like language is yet to be mentioned.


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