Thursday, August 30, 2007
4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall

Computer Science
Fall 2007

Michael Mateas
UC Santa Cruz

Expressive Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence, Games and New Media

Videogames have become a major cultural force, with an economic clout approaching that of the film industry. While graphics advances have driven the game industry for the last few decades, artificial intelligence is emerging as the new technology driver that will enable radical game innovation in the coming decades. Advanced AI techniques will enable games that contain compelling and believable simulations of human behavior, games that dynamically reconfigure themselves in response to the particular play styles, goals and desires of the player, and interactive stories with dynamic storylines that change in response to player interaction. Such AI-based games will create new genres of art and entertainment, new forms of education and training, and new thought tools for thinking about complex systems, positioning games to become the dominant medium of the 21st century. At the same time as AI opens up new and powerful interactive experiences, AI-based art itself becomes a fundamental research agenda, posing and answering novel research questions which would not be raised unless doing AI research in the context of art and entertainment. I call this agenda, in which AI research and art mutually inform each other, Expressive AI. These ideas will be illustrated by looking at several research projects, including the interactive drama Façade (downloadable from ), as well as current projects taking place in the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz.

Michael Mateas' research in AI-based art and entertainment combines science, engineering and design into an integrated practice that pushes the boundaries of the conceivable and possible in games and other interactive art forms. He is currently a faculty member in the Computer Science department at UC Santa Cruz, where he is involved in launching UCSC's game design degree, the first such degree offered in the University of California system. Prior to Santa Cruz , Michael was a faculty member at The Georgia Institute of Technology, where he held a joint appointment in the College of Computing and the School of Literature , Communication and Culture, founded the Experimental Game Lab, and helped create Georgia Tech's game design degree. With Andrew Stern, Michael released Façade, the world's first AI-based interactive drama in July 2005. Façade has received numerous awards, including top honors at the Slamdance independent game festival (co-located with the Sundance film festival). Michael's current research interests include game AI, particularly character and story AI, ambient intelligence supporting non-task-based social experiences, and dynamic game generation. In addition to frequent paper presentations at AI, HCI and digital media conferences, Michael has exhibited artwork internationally, including venues such as SIGGRAPH, the New York Digital Salon, ISEA, the Carnegie Museum , the Beall Center and Te PaPa, the national museum of New Zealand . Michael received his BS in Engineering Physics from the University of the Pacific, his MS in Computer Science (emphasis in Human-Computer Interaction) from Portland State University , and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University .