Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Computer Scientists Invents Game-Developing Computer AI

samzenpus posted 1 year,25 days | from the I'm-afraid-I-can't-let-you-level-Dave dept.

AI 103

MojoKid writes "Over the past few years, short game writing 'jams' have become a popular way to bring developers together in a conference with a single overarching theme. These competitions are typically 24-48 hours long and involve a great deal of caffeine, frantic coding, and creative design. The 28th Ludum Dare conference held from December 13 — 16 of this past year was one such game jam — but in this case, it had an unusual participant: Angelina. Angelina is a computer AI designed by Mike Cook of Goldsmiths, London University. His long-term goal is to discover whether an AI can complete tasks that are generally perceived as creative. The long-term goal is to create an AI that can 'design meaningful, intelligent and enjoyable games completely autonomously.' Angelina's entry into Ludum Dare, dubbed 'To That Sect'" is a simple 3D title that looks like it hails from the Wolfenstein era. Angelina's initial game is simple, but in reality Angelina is an AI that can understand the use of metaphor and build thematically appropriate content, which is pretty impressive. As future versions of the AI improve, the end result could be an artificial intelligence that 'understands' human storytelling in a way no species on Earth can match."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What's that smell? (2, Insightful)

narcc (412956) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876249)

Smells like bullshit to me. What do you think?

Re:What's that smell? (1)

genocitizen (2763555) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876305)

Sensationalistic headline. If you do this /seriously/, then show off a big sample of AI-generated games and let game developers and game players review them

Re:What's that smell? (2)

ireallyhateslashdot (2297290) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876335)

Did you check out the link? See the game? Yes, it's entirely possible that an AI wrote this game. That said, it's kind of a crappy game. It's very short, and doesn't have much in the way of emotional involvement. I'm still excited to see what the future holds...

Re:What's that smell? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876399)

Agreed. It's entirely possible to create a program that will create a game, complete with a story, boss stages and the lot. In fact, if the army of developers who shaped Angelina was big enough, she could be developed to create games of any genre (be it FPS, RTS, RPG, arcade, etc). However, that will not make Angelina any more intelligent than the default calculator provided by our respective OSes.

Now, show us Angelina making decisions to autonomously change the genre, story, bosses, etc, in a way that fulfills Dennett'esque or Sartre'esque imagination theories and we can start calling it AI. Till then these stories only serve as a means of impressing the uninitiated - which is definitely important if the field of AI is to get the attention it deserves.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878263)

The important part will be when the AI decides to make a game.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

rioki (1328185) | 1 year,24 days | (#45887031)

Well it may save EA and friends come cash on the cookie cutter military shooters...

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876571)

Oh, so EA have had a copy for several years ?

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Anarchduke (1551707) | 1 year,25 days | (#45877479)

You win an Internet. LMAO!

Re:What's that smell? (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,25 days | (#45877083)

did you read the fucking article?

"While the theme of the game (You Only Get One) was a pre-coded template, Angelina chose the color of the walls, the textures, the ambient sound track." and did a shitty job at doing it.

add some theming ai to nethack and *boom* infinitely more "ai" than this(though both are just content generators, not game designers, and content generators for games are old hat).

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | 1 year,25 days | (#45877599)

Dwarf fortress world generator is pretty nifty. You can go into legends and see the history of every creature ever created in the world from birth to death. Some of them don't die, and you'll have some ancient vampire show up in your fortress. Then he has an "accident" involving lava. Many fun things in Dwarf Fortress involve lava in some way. It doesn't take much to tell a story. You just need to add Imagination.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

mcvos (645701) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878067)

"While the theme of the game (You Only Get One) was a pre-coded template, Angelina chose the color of the walls, the textures, the ambient sound track." and did a shitty job at doing it.

That's not very interesting. What would interest me is AI that shapes and modifies the game while you play it, based on your taste and play style.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

ultranova (717540) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878771)

That's not very interesting. What would interest me is AI that shapes and modifies the game while you play it, based on your taste and play style.

Having read some dungeon/game/whatever master guides for some roleplaying games for fun, I've noticed the part that gets paid most attention to is the "how to keep the players fenced in the area you've prepared" section. Conclusion: adapting to unexpected actions by players would require a superhuman AI, at least in the opinion of people who make games for a living.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

White Yeti (927387) | 1 year,24 days | (#45879629)

The way you describe it, the result sounds like "I have no mouth, and I must scream" (the story; I don't know the game).

Re:What's that smell? (1)

mcvos (645701) | 1 year,23 days | (#45896057)

Having read some dungeon/game/whatever master guides for some roleplaying games for fun, I've noticed the part that gets paid most attention to is the "how to keep the players fenced in the area you've prepared" section.

What kind of RPGs are those? Most GM advice is all about being flexible and figuring out what kind of game and play style the players enjoy most. Fencing them in has generally been considered one of the worst, frustrating and most destructive things a GM can do. And the fact that so many CRPGs do exactly that, frustrates me to no end. And that's exactly why I'd like to see games with an active GM AI making the game more flexible and dynamic. I don't doubt this is extremely hard, but I'd still like to see some experimentation in that direction.

Re:What's that smell? (3, Insightful)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876341)

This story isn't bullshit, and might make for mildly interesting cocktail party chat, but it isn't really newsworthy.

As future versions of the AI improve, the end result could be an artificial intelligence that "understands" human storytelling in a way no species on Earth can match.

This probably does qualify as bullshit, and it was only was only added because the author thought the story itself isn't strong enough to stand without it. Tech writers have to fill quotas. The problem with this peroration isn't just that it's stupid and wrong—it is—the problem is that it gives people the wrong expectations for what AI can do. AI has already had significant payoffs. The Dynamic Analysis and Planning Tool (DART), an "intelligent agent" (a dirty word after the AI winter) written in Common Lisp and used by the U.S military was introduced in 1991 and by 1995 had saved enough money to pay for all of the money DARPA has spent on AI in the previous thirty years.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | 1 year,24 days | (#45879115)

Simple rule -- AI can be great for utility, and so far has always sucked for entertainment or any depth so likely always will. DART, various Google algorithms and many others are example of the former, all examples I know of confirm the latter. Except Eliza maybe, good fun can be had if you take it for what it is.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876481)

"Angelina chose the color of the walls, the textures, the ambient sound track."

Yep. Bullshit.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876641)

Smells like delicious lotuses [tvtropes.org] to me.

Re:What's that smell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45877171)

The purpose of the work was "to discover whether an AI can complete tasks that are generally perceived as creative". The answer is "yes". Simon Cowell has owned an AI that can write and produce crappy pop songs. It's called X-Factor.

Re:What's that smell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45877709)

Frankly, it can't be much worse than EA or UbiSoft...

Re:What's that smell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45878665)

What do I think? I think you're nowhere near smart enough to engage in sensible discussion on topics like this due to your lack of prerequisite computing knowledge.

But congratulations on your first post all the same.

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Michael Cook (3487769) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878887)

I sure hope not, I'm writing a thesis on it next month! ;) This version of ANGELINA is a new step in the research, as I've just started a new grant to tide me over for the end of my PhD. The main aims were: 1. Implementing the system in Unity (to be more flexible and use the editor's extensibility) 2. Building a more general system so I won't have to reimplement it every 12 months as I did during my PhD 3. Making ANGELINA less dependent on specific input types and able to take generic phrases or themes, so it could enter game jams The grant has just begun, but my PhD is just ending - so this is both the newest stuff ANGELINA has done, while simultaneously only being foundational for what I hope to do over the next 2 years. This year I hope to bring over work I've done in 2D on inventing game mechanics via code generation, and build it into Unity. But unfortunately that wasn't quite there yet. Nevertheless, entering ANGELINA into a game jam now will hopefully help me show progress as each future game jam passes. Over time it'll smell less like bullshit, and more like an exciting new bit of research. :)

Re:What's that smell? (1)

Endophage (1685212) | 1 year,24 days | (#45879419)

I went to college with the the guy. He has been working on this for coming up on 4 years now. The games I've seen so far are simple platformers reminiscent of the first Mario games, but everything has to start somewhere. That 3D Ludum Dare entry is a step up. It's all very legitimate, but I don't see it generating an RPG any time soon. Simple Mario/Doom clones though are bread and butter.

Absurd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876271)

Judging by the video, this looks like a random level generator for a Wolfenstein style 3D engine with largely random output. There were more useful algorithmic level generators for games already in 1984 (Elite). Not sure why this lame hack made the front page in 2013?

Re:Absurd (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876313)

it's 2014 you idiot

Re:Absurd (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876425)

If it makes the front page of Slashdot in 2014, it has by definition already made the front page somewhere else in 2013.

Re:Absurd (4, Funny)

smallfries (601545) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876581)

And that somewhere else was probably also slashdot.

Re:Absurd (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876589)

it's 2014 you idiot

Ahh, the random little sardonic spike from an AC. What would Slashdot be without these?

Re:Absurd (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | 1 year,24 days | (#45877633)

Cut him some slack. Until I read your post I too thought it was 2013. Holiday food and booze induced memory loss.

Re:Absurd (2)

denmarkw00t (892627) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878687)

If food induces memory loss, then our obesity problem in America is two-fold!

Re:Absurd (1)

anss123 (985305) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876315)

Yeah, I was expecting something more than a level generator for a simple 3D engine.

But can an AI made today be creative? Creativity is often just a mesh of existing ideas, but how hard is that to replicate in code?

Re:Absurd (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876385)

Do we have a rigorous definition of creativity?

A computer can very easily do randomness, and using fairly simple AI methods we can introduce themes and consistency.

The hard part is making something that humans will like.

Re:Absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876453)

The hard part is making something that humans will like.

That's the easy part! Just make something they've seen before. Humans are idiots who like familiar things and hate unfamiliar things.

Re:Absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876505)

That doesn't sound very creative.

Re:Absurd (1)

mlk (18543) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876689)

> The hard part is making something that humans will like.

Reality TV has shown this is very easy. :)

Re:Absurd (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878697)

The hard part is making something that humans will like.

No it's not - add titties. Game of the Year right there.

Re:Absurd (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876609)

Creativity does seem like a 'mesh of existing ideas', eh? It's even evident in the movies that we watch; the ones with budgets surmounting hundreds of millions. Yet, creativity is also being able to amalgamating existing ideas and building a relatively new one, in which regard it's not very different from Turing-completeness. Or is it?

Re:Absurd (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876619)

Judging by the video, this looks like a random level generator for a Wolfenstein style 3D engine with largely random output. There were more useful algorithmic level generators for games already in 1984 (Elite). Not sure why this lame hack made the front page in 2013?

It almost makes me feel bad for the creator of the program as in reporting it got extremely overhyped. He could have introduced it as it is: "hey, I made this cool procedural level generator, have fun with it", and maybe gain a bunch of supportive comments from the indie gamedev community. Now it only makes him look worse as he is perceived as an overly exaggerating liar.

Re:Absurd (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876835)

Well, now that I did the unexpected and actually read the article, I have to take some of my words back. Apparently even his own goals clearly are more ambitious than just creating a level generator: to ultimately create an AI that can "design meaningful, intelligent and enjoyable games completely autonomously".

Big Promises (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876273)

Today, "We are gunna do this it's gunna be rad." Tomorrow, "Shit, making AIs is really fucked up."

God (0)

TempleOS (3394245) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876291)

If you can talk with God, you lose interest in AI. AI is bad, but harmless for a long time. God says... consumed offer decree manifest Strengthen notorious Madaura wrinkle exhibit flowers Clearly persons notes uncultivated Oratory believed incensed undo fully Power literally pass wisely underwent sour sinks smooth missed moderation unhappy forbade pertaining righteousness underline dwell chapter condensed invests unravelied immediately turns recollecting enjoin necessaries speeches endures sacrifices resigned unholy Again beholdest

More? (1)

Peterus7 (607982) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876293)

I'd just like to see more offerings from the engine. It seems a bit similar to procedurally generated dungeons that have been around since Rogue, but with an interesting twist. Perhaps nothing groundbreaking, but kind of weird and interesting.

A link to the game might be helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876297)

As Ludum Dare entries are all freely-downloadable: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=29184

parça kontör bayilik (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876325)

Over the past few years, short game writing 'jams' have become a popular way to bring developers together in a conference with a single overarching theme. These competitions are typically 24-48 hours long and involve a great deal of caffeine, frantic coding, and creative design.

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876355)

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware


In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms

(The reader should know this article was written and distributed prior to the "badBIOS" revelations.)

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you would not notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".


Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

        Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
        Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
        Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
        Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
        Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
        Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
        Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
        Sarch out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
        Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.


I'm more concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.


"Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible"

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.


subversion hack:
(This domain expired and has been replaced by different content. Please visit Archive.org - The Wayback Machine and dig for previous versions of original content)

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit "fm fingerprinting" software
"specific emitter identification"

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.


Cloudberry Kingdom (3, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876379)

Cloudberry Kingdom, Spelunky, and many rogue-likes all do this on a smaller level, but are always constrained by parameters. While they seek to create an AI that will take on more of the tasks, it will still have to be fed parameters created by an author, so unless this AI can create itself, how can it be called truly creative? Rather it is just procedural generation. It may be worth doing but calling it creative is hyperbolic.

Re:Cloudberry Kingdom (2)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876469)

I agree that the word "creative" is usually questionable, but in my mind procedural generation of game content (levels, characters, dialog, trees, ...) versus procedural generation of game rules is an interesting difference. There is definitely some gray area between them, but I think they aren't identical either.

One practical difference is that doing rule-generation well seems harder. There are some very good level generators, but I have yet to see a truly impressive rule-generation system. There are a number of attempts [kmjn.org] , of which the most successful to date is probably Ludi, a system that successfully designed [cameronius.com] a board game that seems to be considered legit in the community of people that play that particular type of board game. But that's a far cry from full game design.

Re:Cloudberry Kingdom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876473)

Just use genetic programming on the parameters and use a bunch of gamers to test the generated games.

Re:Cloudberry Kingdom (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876625)

Hmmm... seems like a statement generated by a waywardly genetic 'program'

Interesting first steps (1)

Camembert (2891457) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876389)

Angelina's first game may be very simple, but it is conceptually quite something. For example it is interesting to read in the words of Angelina how she picked the music. So, let us not focus on how "meh" this first outing is but rather think of it as an interesting first step. By 2020 a hypotetical Angelina v6 should already be much farther evolved.

Re:Interesting first steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876553)

If "she" made google search terms from results of the Metaphor Magnet engine, sorted through them and determined that a site called Incomptech had downloadable music on it, and that is was available royalty free, and that the owner of the site's name is in fact Kevin MacCleod, then I'm slightly impressed. Moreso by Metaphor Magnet though...neat idea. But if "she" was told to take the game name, push it through MM, and google site:incomptech.com, with input from the programmer that basically wrote that description, then it's pretty unimpressive.

Grammar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876403)

Computer Scientists Invents? Really? Nobody caught that?

Running precedes walking (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876421)

Someone needs to establish a proper global AI committee to assess all these silly attempts and classify their relevance in the field. This is clearly an attempt to get headlined more than to really contribute to the field. We have yet to create properly working algorithm that aids software to initiate creative processes without human (or other) intervention. Or am I wrong here?

Re: Running precedes walking (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876535)

Minsky would disagree, but then, does anyboy care what he says these days?

Re: Running precedes walking (1)

aslashdotaccount (539214) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876579)

Minsky (or even Kurzweil) can disagree all he wants, but I've yet to hear of the celebration of truly autonomous first step. One might point at the software that won at jeopardy or the one that beat the Turing test, but did they really 'pick' their own fights, or 'choose' their strategies all by 'themselves'? jeopardy winner: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/pictures/110217-watson-win-jeopardy-ibm-computer-humans-science-tech-artificial-intelligence-ai/ [nationalgeographic.com] turing test beater: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/01/botprize-2012-programmers_n_1928349.html [huffingtonpost.co.uk]

Re:Running precedes walking (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45878207)

No need for a global committee, there are dozens of conferences on AI already. For AI to advance right now it needs a genius, the field has not had a giant leap for quite a while (unlike many other fields).

What does this mean (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876441)

an artificial intelligence that 'understands' human storytelling in a way no species on Earth can match."

Is there any species on earth that understands human storytelling (besides humans)? I don't understand how this is a metric of success.

Re:What does this mean (5, Funny)

eyenot (102141) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876525)

In A World
where one programmer

*keys clicking*
*CRT fixed-width reflecting on eyeglass lens*
*sudden black screen and gasp*

who relates more closely to computers than to people

*boy and a girl walking side by side*
GIRL: "think you'll come to the party tonight?"
GUY: "do you think computers like Titanic?"
GIRL: "excuse me?"
GUY: "I can show you the world!"

decides enough is enough

GIRL: "I don't think we can see each other."
GUY: "do you think computers have feelings?"

*people dying*

and retreats into his basement to create his own entire world

*guy guzzling 2-liter*

GUY: "I'm going to add the airborn mine cart explosion that can send a dwarf flying through the air and landing in another mine cart today"
OTHER GUY: "you got rent?"

follow us into a world where reality is all topsy-turvy

GUY: "The computer isn't just playing the game. The computer is LEARNING."

*record scratch*

OTHER GUY: "You're telling it what to do."
GUY: "Yeah but I'm telling it it's called do_learn(token).... what? Jeez, shut up!"

and where dreams become reality

GUY: "I can actually make the game program itself, now."
GIRL: "Wow, that's so cool. What's that symbol mean?"
GUY: "Oh, it looks like the game thought it would be a good idea to make itself be about elephants humping with a quest goal of finding a lost abacus."
GIRL: "I have to go. I hear my mom. LET ME GO."

this spring, get ready, to re-define your entire sense of what creativity means

OTHER GUY: "You can't have a flight sim that's about penguins and walruses absorbing blocks of gelatin through their bellies and shooting skyscrapers out of their mouths"
GUY: "It -- it wasn't me. It was THE GAME!"
OTHER GUY: "Yeah but it's stupid."

from the same people that brought you Unsolvable Sokoban, Endless Sudoku, and Eliza

GUY: "It's like it's thinking. It's really thinking."
OTHER GUY: "No, it's like you've been awake for 68 hours"
GUY *hoarsely* "Ith tho amathiiiiiinnnnng"

Starring that guy who played Corky from Growing Pains or whatever the fuck that was

GUY: "I'm just like normal people you know."
GIRL: "Normal people don't think randomly splashing paint on a canvas is creativity."
GUY: "I'm just like Manhattan people you know."

And that girl that never mind

And the other guy who's more successful in life because he isn't completely deranged

OTHER GUY *drooling and staring at tv static*

Rated R for:
* conceptual challenges
* a complete lack of experimental control
* we're pretending being retarded is normal
* the film was computer generated. creators cannot be held liable for what might appear in front of you.

Re:What does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876693)

You forgot your conclusion:
Open the door. Get on the floor. Everybody walk the dinosaur.

Re:What does this mean (1)

Adam Jorgensen (1302989) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876745)

Thanks for that, I laughed.

Re:What does this mean (1)

ph1ll (587130) | 1 year,25 days | (#45877189)

You should write comedy for a living. Seriously, dude, that's brilliant!

Re:What does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45877849)

Bravo. That was hilarious!

Re:What does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876565)

The point they are trying to say is that the computer is smarter than animals.

pardon my drunk-on, BUT (1)

eyenot (102141) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876479)

[moderate this one to flame-bait, it would be honest]

god, shut up. you obviously don't know what you read because you can't even qualify your verbs and shit or whatever. just shut up.

oh, hey, idiot: procedurally generated games have been out forever. there you go. the game was developed by "ai". fuck, what a fucktarded article.

Re:pardon my drunk-on, BUT (2)

eyenot (102141) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876491)

Thomas Kuhn would just point out that shifting your paradigm in and out of frame and babbling on about AI while you basically lower your standards of what "creative" means is fucking STUPID

fucking stupid premise, fucking stupid article, fucking stupid stupid.

god, what autistic mish-mash are we going to be exposed to next

probably some article about how autism is the new normal. hipsters haven't had enough of that shit, yet. you have to have precisely 3.14 articles of that topic every year or "life" isn't definitively hip-ronic enough.

fucking hipster dumb shit. what self respecting intelligent person ("nerd") doesn't puke at this shit and wish the sprinkler system would turn on in this guy's computer room?

Re:pardon my drunk-on, BUT (2)

Camembert (2891457) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876495)

If I read the article correctly, the impressive part is not that the game takes place in a generated maze, but rather that the AI created from scratch a game, however simple, that takes place inside that world. That step which involves working with concepts is far from trivial.

Re:pardon my drunk-on, BUT (1)

abies (607076) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876719)

Yes, it would be impressive, but that's not a case.
"While the theme of the game (You Only Get One) was a pre-coded template, Angelina chose the color of the walls, the textures, the ambient sound track. "

If you add 'randomly' before 'chose', you will get a feeling how big breakthrough in AI development it is...

And no, it is not a good first step towards something. Being able to google texture based on some keywords has nothing to do with being able to create game code. Or with being 'creative' in any sense of the word.

It's gonna take a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876645)

As future versions of the AI improve, the end result could be an artificial intelligence that "understands" human storytelling in a way no species on Earth can match.

Actually the above cannot be the end result. It is impossible to achieve with the current understanding we have.

playstation os9 (1)

Zim Ali (3487327) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876837)

here I was thinking they could use Windows RT because MS can't seem to give it away. ;) until next galaxy note 3 acheter [galaxynote-3.com] Galaxy note 3 [galaxynote-2.com] .

Ai or Random numbers? (2)

Dan Askme (2895283) | 1 year,25 days | (#45876917)

"Angelina chose the color of the walls, the textures, the ambient sound track."

fHueColour = iFloatRand(0.0f,360.0f);
Texture_Wall = iIntRand(0,10);
Music = iIntRand(0,5);
GameMode = iIntRand(0,10);

Ai, or, just basic random number generation?
Theres probably alot more under the hood. But, unless we can see how the code is written, it just looks like a random number based world generator to me.

Re:Ai or Random numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45876977)

Yup, effectively the "theme" was the seed to the random number generator.

Re:Ai or Random numbers? (1)

Michael Cook (3487769) | 1 year,24 days | (#45879831)

Haha. It'll only resort to randomness if it can't find a justification for something else. To give you an idea, let's take the music example. ANGELINA has the term 'founder'. It uses a database of words and emotions a colleague of mine built up, called Metaphor Magnet, to find emotions people express towards this concept. One of the top ones of 'charmed' - as in, people feel charmed by founders. This is probably because of the relationship with cults and sects, as seen in the title. Once it has that emotion, it tries to narrow it down towards an emotion it can use to search a music database. To do this, it runs 'charmed' against each of the 20 emotions in the music database, and uses DISCO - a word similarity tool - to see which is nearest. It chooses a piece of music based on this emotion as a result. The fact that it looks like randomness to you is a problem with perception that software have, I think. It's a common discussion point at the Computational Creativity Conference. Anyway, thanks for commenting! :)

bots (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45877025)

So, AI experts in 20 or so years haven't been able to produce gaming bots which are "creative" in a multiplayer FPS

Interesting possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45877117)

Getting this to work and to actually develop interesting game environments is going to be a pita, but if it can be done possibilities are interesting. Imagine a game that doesn't get to finish line or run out of quests etc but just keeps on evolving uniquely to match each gamers game-play. Even more interesting would be this in a MMORPG setting, imagine thousands of players affecting how game world evolves and expands. Each server might start with basic beginner world and end evolve from there, every server would be different, have different quests, maps etc. Large world maps are AI generated anyway these days, nobody goes around placing individual bushes, trees and whatnots everywhere, its more like: "this is forest area - randomly fill with vegetation type x". Applying this to other gameplay elements like quests, mob placements etc should be doable. And if you can take player actions as input this could result in very interesting results. It should be even possible to apply it to skills development.

Adventure Construction Set? (2)

Akratist (1080775) | 1 year,25 days | (#45877161)

I dunno if anyone else remembers it, but back in the 80s, Adventure Construction Set shipped with an option to generate an adventure from scratch, including the creation of new content (which, IIRC, was basically choosing some random values for things and rolling them into a new object). I obviously am not comparing the two -- this sounds considerably more advanced -- but the idea sounds the same and the results were probably about as interesting. That the AI relied on a pre-defined dictionary list of what is telling, too. Eventually, the understanding of consciousness will progress to the point where we can understand and analyze it in detail, but any AI is going to be dependent on that understanding before it is a true, complete, game production system.

Re:Adventure Construction Set? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | 1 year,24 days | (#45880583)

Sounds like the game of zangband I once played where I got some +insane multi-hued plate armor about 10min into the game and proceeded to blast the daylights out of anything I saw for the next 24 levels while watching them scratch away at my armor in vain...

awesome? (1)

aissixtir (2752321) | 1 year,25 days | (#45877441)

I somehow enjoy reading about computer AI.

Re:awesome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,25 days | (#45877523)

I prefer wolf girl Ai [google.com] , or maybe just some of this [youtube.com]

It's been done before (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45877663)

For (i = 1; i GameSize; i++) {
          Character("Space Marine");

I believe this AI code has been in widespread use for at least 15 years.

What does this mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45877675)

"artificial intelligence that 'understands' human storytelling"

Could it be that the AI politician is close at hand?

let's play global thermonuclear war (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,24 days | (#45877951)

what side do you want?

1. United States
2. Russia
3. United Kingdom
4. France
5. China
6. India
7. Pakistan
8. North Korea
9. Israel

Re:let's play global thermonuclear war (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | 1 year,24 days | (#45879439)

FWIW I don't recall that the last four on that list (India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel) have thermonuclear bombs (which would be fusion-based generally) but rather more limited, but still devastating, fission-only warheads. The fusion bombs can be roughly 1000 times as powerful as the fission only predecessors. And wasn't North Korea's yield something like 2-3 kilotons? Our 1945 first try firecrackers were clocking in at 15-20kt yields. Nuclear tech is tricky business.

Re:let's play global thermonuclear war (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45884569)

FWIW I don't recall that the last four on that list (India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel) have thermonuclear bombs (which would be fusion-based generally) but rather more limited, but still devastating, fission-only warheads.

Well, you're wrong on at least one of those. India test-fired a fusion bomb in '98 (yield disputed, but the team that fired it claims 45kt and that they could have reached 200kt with the same design).

How about a headline-proofreading AI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45877981)

"Computer ScientistS InventS Game-Developing Computer AI"

Halfway there (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878711)

Now all we need is AI to play shovelware games for us.

Hey Slashdot! (2)

Michael Cook (3487769) | 1 year,24 days | (#45878953)

I'm Mike, the chap behind this research. I'm glad to see a healthy dose of skepticism in the comments here! I just wanted to clear up a few points: first, I'm not claiming to have designed anything world-changing, this is just another step in the very early days of a very, very long road. Over the next few years I hope to get ANGELINA inventing game mechanics, designing graphical styles, commentating on its own developments, and producing a wider variety of games than ever before. But I hope you'll all still be asking questions and being critical, nevertheless. If you'd like to follow the project and let me know what you think of how things turn out, I blog at gamesbyangelina.org and I tweet @mtrc. Thanks for sharing the work!

Re:Hey Slashdot! (1)

hraponssi (1939850) | 1 year,24 days | (#45880161)

So this Angelina.. Is she hot? And do you keep her in your basement? What are the measurements..

Re:Hey Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45884539)


I was trying to find your publications to get some idea of how this works, but I see your most recent publication is in a paywalled journal. Is there any chance you can republish it somewhere I don't have to pay $15 to read it? While this is cheap by the standards of most scientific journals, it's still ludicrously expensive for a single article, and this kind of crap is destroying amateur science, which really ought to be thriving in the low-research-cost world of computer science.

(heh... captcha: "angelic")

Wow... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | 1 year,24 days | (#45880195)

This causes amazing ideas to race through my head. Imagine a much more mature version of this - one that could take input and even pull from other resources. For example, try to imagine a system that understands surfaces and textures, and even has access to the internet (or a built-in library) to derive work from. You tell the program to create a 3D castle similar to one in Scotland. It pulls information (either provided or on it's own) and from that it can create procedural textures, 3D surfaces to map those textures to, and then boom...a castle. Eventually it would understand night and day, sounds that are associated with certain environments, lighting, varied architecture, natural terrain...the possiblities are endless. And instead of having a slew of developers and artists trying to create a cohesive image over weeks or months, you have a singular entity creating this content on the fly, limited only by the amount of CPU cycles at your disposal. What an amazing science fiction story that could play itself out in reality if this idea was matured.

Already creatively surpassed one human (1)

Torgo's Pizza (547926) | 1 year,24 days | (#45880239)

Judging from the game description, Angelina has already created something light years more creative than anything Michael Bay has ever done.

LJN (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45880519)

You mean to tell me all those shitty movie-themed games from LJN back in the 80s weren't generated by some computer? I'm shocked.

Angelina 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45883153)

It's impressive that an AI can create a game, but that AI is coded by a person so it is always going to be restricted to what the human has created.

What if Angelina 1.0 could create Angelina 2.0 and Angelina 2.0 could create Angelina 3.0?

What would be the result of letting that run for a few years?

Bullshit. (1)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | 1 year,24 days | (#45883915)

"Angelina chose the color of the walls, the textures, the ambient sound track" So all it did was randomly choose a few things. Completely stupid. That isn't "AI" by any stretch.

Ender's Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45884537)

Wait, that monster *IS* my biology professor! WTF

(Ender's Game had that Giant video game which added content on its own...)

Giant's Drink IRL (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,24 days | (#45884563)

Wait, that monster trying to kill me *IS* my biology professor!

* The reference: Ender's Game had a game called Giant's Drink which used an AI to develop content tailored to the user.

Current games, yes, Classics: no (1)

bitterblackale (2075530) | 1 year,23 days | (#45889283)

I could see how games like CoD, Wolfenstien, Doom, Diablo, even side quests in D&D-style games like WoW and DDO could be generated by an AI. Go back through gaming history, though, and you'll find titles with stories SOOOO far out there that it's amazing that even a human though of it: Ultima 5,6,7,& 7 part 2, Starflight, some of the Sierra titles - specifically, Kings Quest III & IV, the Space Quest and Hero's Quest in which sarcasm and style plays an important role in the story-telling. I think an AI will have trouble with style and sarcasm. Baldur's Gate could have had an AI helping with side quests, but the main story-arc and back-story would be a stretch for AI.

Can a machine be creative? Yes, yes it can. (1)

syukton (256348) | 1 year,23 days | (#45891923)

Stephen Thaler's creativity machine [imagination-engines.com] is proof of the potential of machine creativity.

[Test; ignore.] (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#45899435)

Please ignore this test comment.

(Ptolemarch, 1, root-level)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?