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4:16pm on Friday, 2nd February, 2018:
I went to London today for a site visit to where one of my PhD students is on a placement. I didn't sign an NDA, but it would nevertheless be impolite to say where it was.
However, I probably can say say that I was impressed by the depth of knowledge the people there had about most aspects of AI. I tell the PhD students I teach that game developers read academic papers and attend conferences, but I don't think they believe me. Well, they do read papers; indeed, I'm going to have to follow up a couple of them that they mentioned because they sounded quite interesting but I hadn't come across them myself.
I was particularly chuffed that it was symbolic AI ("good old-fashioned AI") they were primarily interested in, rather than the statistical AI currently in vogue in academic work on AI. Games have a variety of different needs for AI, and while, say, real-time strategy games might well benefit from applying Monte Carlo Tree Search at every opportunity, role-playing games are more likely to need Planning.
If I wait long enough, maybe my own PhD will become relevant again!
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