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The following Python script is used to produce the movements of a game AI character in a videogame.

#!/usr/bin/env python3
import time,random
for i in range(100000):
  print(i,random.random())
  time.sleep(.3)

In contrast to a human player, the script doesn't try to maximize it's reward, instead it's repeating the same actions over and over again. The script doesn't produce a sense and the hypothesis is, that the AI didn't have understand what the game objective is. Are random generators playing games different from humans, in a way that the script is flipping the social roles and avoids to become a participant of a game?

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Random Decisions

Random decisions are sort of counter to the idea of AI, here understood as rational decision-making based on analysis of data, except in a limited number of cases:

  1. Randomness is utilized search (MCTS) and the the results are analyzed to determine the choice with the highest probability of returning the greatest utility

  2. An AI analyzes a game's equilibria and determines that a random choice is the optimal strategy (matching pennies).

The use of Random Number Generation in the example is no different than a dice roll--it's AI to the extent that it's a automated decision, but the strength of the decision making agent is unlikely to be high except where random choice is the most optimal strategy.

Goals & Understanding the Objective

An AI does not necessarily need to understand the objective of a given game, provided that local goals are sufficient to make decisions, and potentially approach a global optimum. (For instance, a Chess engine not based on checkmate, but where the objective simply removing as much of the opponent's materiel as possible, which could result in a victory against a weak opponent.)

Social Role/Human-like

Any game AI engaged in play can be considered to be in a social role, since games involving more than one player are communal activities. (This has nothing to do with random choices--humans themselves may choose to make random choices.) The AI is participating in a game, regardless of the rationale, or lack thereof, of a given decision.

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  • $\begingroup$ quote “An AI does not necessarily need to understand the objective of a given game” Does this mean, that an AI can translate a letter into perfect English, without understanding English at all? $\endgroup$ – Manuel Rodriguez Sep 17 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ @ManuelRodriguez A strong translation might require the context of the entire letter, where phrase-by-phrase translation out-of-context might increase chance of errors. But it could be similar in terms of a global goal vs. local goals. $\endgroup$ – DukeZhou Sep 17 at 18:51

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