Toward a Rapid-Prototyping Environment for Character Behavior

Ian Horswill

University of California, Santa Cruz
Friday, September 9th
11:00am - 12:00pm

I will discuss work in progress on Twig, a system for interactive prototyping of AI-based characters. A sort of "Sims construction set", the system combines a simple physics simulation with a set of domain-specific languages to allow programmers to quickly build and test character AI. It allows iterative, incremental development in which behaviors can be compactly authored, tested, monitored, and hot-swapped for new behaviors, using in-game editing and debugging facilities.

Ian's work lies within the areas of artificial intelligence and interactive art and entertainment. His AI research focuses on control systems for autonomous agents: how does an agent decide from moment to moment what to do, based on an ongoing stream of sensor data and a continually varying set of goals and entanglements with the world. His past work focused on robotics and computer vision, but his more recent work centers around the the modeling and simulation of emotion, personality, and social behavior for virtual characters for games and interactive narrative. Ian earned his Ph.D. from the AI Lab at MIT, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Northwestern University.

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