AI how advanced

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AI how advanced

Postby Vidar » Fri May 04, 2012 9:52 pm

OK do we know how far AI has advanced? Could one make drones? Maybe not fully autonomous, but say linked to a frame for grenral gudence? I am playing with the Idea of a "Lost" conolony that is heavy into drones and autonomous systems.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Dukayn » Sat May 05, 2012 12:11 am

There are quite a few drone designs being thrown around and none of the game designers have said anything about them being completely wrong, so I'm guessing they'd be fine.

That said I don't think we've been told anything specific.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby schoon » Sat May 05, 2012 12:55 am

Actually, I believe that in one of the background threads, Joshua said that they are not enormously advanced, which I take to mean that they cannot replace humans as pilots.

My interpretation is that they are more expert assistants as opposed to "individuals" in their own right.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Vidar » Sat May 05, 2012 9:10 am

So I can use a distributed AI that needs guidance form a human. One human frame guiding 2-4 AI frames.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby shrimplor » Sat May 05, 2012 6:51 pm

Vidar wrote:So I can use a distributed AI that needs guidance form a human. One human frame guiding 2-4 AI frames.


Do whatever you think is cool! That's the beauty of games like this. If it turns out that the A.I. you're envisioning is somewhat more advanced than the average in this setting, you could say that it is a prototype system being tested by the S.U., or it's a prototype system, which the free colonists "saved" from a life of S.U. slavery and it willingly joined up with them in return for recognition as a legal entity! If it's an Ijad, simply say that they have more advanced A.I. than humanity, as they did not have the same sci-fi tropes as humans (and therefore had no fear of a "destroy all humans" type pf A.I.)

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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Vidar » Sat May 05, 2012 10:18 pm

The AI would able to move on their own. They can act according to a program. At the beginning of battle a set of variables, what kind of mission, the chain of comand, objectives, and failure conditions. For example
Defense
No human command
(Defend the base, Keep the comutication array intact)
Loss of the comutication array

So the frame would defend the base, no human Comands allowled. The frame will say within the base unless the comutication array is under attack. If the Array in under attack the frame will be suisidal to stop the attack other wise it will attempt inflict damage with as little exposure to it self.

Another set of variables
Attack
Frame 1 is command
(Kill frame blue frame)
Loss of Frame One

So this would be the orders given to an AI. These would be what a frame would do in absence of command form the a human frame.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Ced23Ric » Sun May 06, 2012 5:57 am

Based on what we already know: Currently, AI cannot make decisions on emotional levels. They also cannot steer 'Frames other than following sluggish, easy path. They cannot, for example, dodge or dash, and would be completely lost in melee. Your idea, whilste interesting, would not work unless you expand the background with a prototype or breakthrough unavailable elsewhere.

Let me give you some quotes:
Soren wrote:Purpose-built combat models (Chubs, Rumble Monkeys, Hi-Legs, and Striders) use a systems of sticks, switches, and pedals linked to programmable, contextual movement and behavior macros filtered by a rudimentary AI. The advantages of this approach are speed, flexibility and endurance - you can operate a frame for days on end like this, without wearing yourself down, carry out actions instantly, and operate a wide variety of body plans. The disadvantages are lack of precision and a steep learning curve.
Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:AI is pretty wussy in this setting, but it would certainly help bring a frame up to speed with a new pilot faster, synching up the frame's cylinders before the pilot even starts training. But it's rudimentary. It's more like a hindbrain or even chordal response system than a decision-making system.

Hope this helps!
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby gusindor » Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:08 pm

I really like the idea of having a drone strike force, but the range at which they can be used effectively is limited, so the commander has to be nearby in a station or, even better, a mobile frame of their own. I mean, one big draw of mobile frames is that 1 person can do the work of 3, and even short-range drones would have the same effect. So 1 'frame pilot with 3 drone 'frames can do the work of 4 pilots or 12 unframed people! AIs could theoretically be better than humans, but we struggle to make AI that isn't downright stupid. We don't even fully understand our own brains, so making a mind that equals ours is hard enough, forget making one that's superior. So the drone 'frames would need a human leader, who would automatically be the most skilled and smartest in the group. Nothing like being surrounded by dumb machines to turn you into an instant superhero-by-comparison.

Now my drone army can't have visible eyes, and the lead mech needs to be cycloptic... :!: :!: :!: :idea:
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:00 am

AI in the Solar Calendar is really, really limited. It's one of the reasons mobile frames exist: so you can crank up the effectiveness of a single decision-maker.

Drones, as we've placed them in the setting so far, are controlled by a human somewhere. If I were to make a house rule about drones, I'd say that that they can't have any blues due to reduced situational awareness and overall clumsiness.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby ChaosChild » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:01 am

I dunno, a drone tank seems like a fairly interesting option. You don't need enhanced situational awareness when you have 2 feet of ceramite armour protecting the CPU. :D
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Zero Revenge » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:10 am

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Drones, as we've placed them in the setting so far, are controlled by a human somewhere. If I were to make a house rule about drones, I'd say that that they can't have any blues due to reduced situational awareness and overall clumsiness.

Even, a Reaper-Drone? d6B for being hard to hit? Smaller target & in the air?
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Ced23Ric » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:12 am

Gentlemen.

Are we going to play "Giant Fighty Robots" or "Combined Arms, the game that also has mechas, sorta." - Trying to push the Calendar to accomodate something out of scope seems slightly adverse to me.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby morganm » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:07 pm

Seems like the debate here is blurring AI controlled drones with remote piloted drones. I respect, and agree, with the developers choice of limiting AI. With regards to remote piloted drones I don't see the problem. It's still piloted by a sentient being but they aren't in a cockpit.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby ChaosChild » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:30 pm

Well "robots" means AI, pretty much by definition. When we're talking about frames/mecha we're not talking about robots since frames have pilots rather than being autonomous. So "giant fighty robots" is a phrase that no longer applies in the Solar Calendar.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Ced23Ric » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:44 pm

Alrightey then.
  • Robot, via Wikipedia (English): A robot is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent that can perform tasks automatically or with guidance, typically by remote control.
  • Robot, via Wikipedia (German): Robots are stationary or mobile machines, that fulfill task outlined by a preset programming.
There is, by definition, no AI involved, at all. AI is Artificial Intelligence, and intelligence requires thought, reaction to outside impulses, problem solving, adaption and abstract thought. Do X until Y is not intelligence. It may seem as such, but that appearance or resemblence is virtual only.

Furthermore, the term "robot" is a simplified term used in contemporary popculture to describe vaguely humanoid machines, or human-machine, regardless of internal workings, intricacy or controls. The log line GIANT FIGHTY ROBOTS refers to just that - oversized, combattative humanoid warmachines. There is no AI implied anywhere. And on top of that, the log line was used for Mechaton, MFZ:RA's predecessor.

Language only works if all adhere to the same standards and definitions, otherwise, we get lost in conversations. Your perception of the term robot is off from the perception of the broad public, and that might explain your confusion. But robots have no implicit AI. You might be thinking of "android", which is a whole 'nother ball park. And thusly, robots a) applies outside of the Solar Calender and in this-here-world for its simplified use as a term for a humanoid machine under guidance by either an operator or a programming (obvy, the prior is the case for us), and b) applies inside the Solar Calendar for the concert of input (controls), output (motion) of a machine ('frame). Because the terms "mecha", "'frame" and similar designators ("gundam", "rig", "VS", etc.) are not in use with the general public, "robot" is a perfectly fine choice. You won't have to explain "robot" to many people, but have fun explaining what a "mecha" is, without using "robot". ;)
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:54 pm

Hey, do you guys remember how to win in the original Battletech? The answer was, "Field tanks!"

The Solar Calendar is a set of creative constraints. We use them to make sure we've got the same expectations so we all come to the table with giant robots and not airplanes or dudes in Cricket outfits*. If you want different creative constraints, make sure everyone's agreed to them. So far, there's the occasional drone or hover vehicle, but we operate on the assumption that most of the time we don't use these for practical reasons, most of which we don't explore. "Muscle cylinders!" are about as deep as we wanted to go — "They're cheaper than internal combustion and give additional benefits in most situations. So most of the time, you want humanoid robots. We good here? OK, let's move on."

Soren and I have deliberately reeled in a lot of our science fiction tendencies for this setting in favor of particular enjoyable creative constraints. If you want to fully explore the world-changing nature of a given technology, I invite you to play one of my RPGs, particularly Human Contact (What happens if you have a post-scarcity, rational, starfaring society but current levels of understanding of human nature?) or Shock: Social Science Fiction (a way of asking these questions and establishing your own constraints). In Human Contact terms, if you want to see drones, that's barely even a meaningful category in the society of the Academy; an Academic's perceptual field can cover an entire planet if they need to. They can look from orbit as readily as they can look around a corner. And their understanding of information theory (from digital to interpersonal and political) is as advanced as their starcraft.

To quote Soren, "Weaponized sociology will beat giant robots any day." At one point, we saw a game where a dozen Academics, confused, wounded, exhausted and largely untrained in violence, held off a small army for an hour by obeying a flocking algorithm with inputs from the surveillance haze that surrounded the field of battle.

So, hey, look, if you want to add AI drones, I'll play the crap out of that game with you, but you'll have a hard time fitting it into the rules for Mobile Frame Zero. You come to these rules to fight giant fighty robots.

So, think about this: is it cheaper to use AI than a trained and cunning human? More effective than using a human who wants to live? If so, why isn't everyone using them? And if everyone is using autonomous AI frames, why are they humanoid (or ghanatoid)? If they leave behind the need to expand on human abilities, why giant? Let's say the AI is based on digital computers, and let's say that, at this point centuries in the future, that's the size of the iPad I'm typing this on. I'd guess that we could make a "frame" about the size of a shoe. I'm gonna say that I'll field something tiny, armed and smart over something giant, armed and smart anyday.

So now we have swarms of AI robots doing our fighting for us.

And we wind up with Ghost in the Shell instead of VOTOMS. And I wouldn't mind that game at all, not one little bit, but it's not this one. We don't have rules for distributed consciousness, hacking each other's units to alter their personality, massive swarms, or any other implicit features of such a setting.

When we have a setting, it's something we share.

As for the definition of robot, we're drawing on the popular Japanese understanding of the word: a humanoid machine controlled, for some reason, by someone typically too young to drive a car. The word "mecha" actually covers all sorts of genre mechanical design.

*I really want to field a company Cricket-equipped giant robots now. I sure love those pads.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Soren » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:06 pm

Or, to put it this way, the Solar Century is, like a lot of its influences, fundamentally a story of the twentieth century - from the apocalyptic violence of the War of Martian Unification to the Protracted Struggle for colonial self-determination and onward - and that means it needs to be driven by the hopes and fears of people more-or-less as we know them.

I have complex personal skepticisms about the viability of AI as commonly depicted in science fiction, too, but that's a secondary justification. It serves the themes of the story better if it's recognizable humans who fight and die for the ideological stakes we've set up.
Last edited by Soren on Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Talusmouse » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:55 pm

Would a primitive AI that informs a ship captains that

"Engines are producing at 27.3%, their normal output." be an adequate level of AI in SU 245 or is that too advanced?
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby afny » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:07 pm

Talusmouse wrote:Would a primitive AI that informs a ship captains that

"Engines are producing at 27.3%, their normal output." be an adequate level of AI in SU 245 or is that too advanced?


Nothing about a program that would give that kind of readout implies Intelligence. That's simply a computer running a diagnostic program; we have plenty of those now. If the program were to, say, notice that the engines were producing at 24% and act in a dynamic way to improve output while attempting to maximize the possibility of an intended outcome, it could be called AI.
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Re: AI how advanced

Postby Talusmouse » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:17 pm

afny wrote:
Talusmouse wrote:Would a primitive AI that informs a ship captains that

"Engines are producing at 27.3%, their normal output." be an adequate level of AI in SU 245 or is that too advanced?


Nothing about a program that would give that kind of readout implies Intelligence. That's simply a computer running a diagnostic program; we have plenty of those now. If the program were to, say, notice that the engines were producing at 24% and act in a dynamic way to improve output while attempting to maximize the possibility of an intended outcome, it could be called AI.


Thanks for the tech knowledge.

That makes me give a sigh of relief for my background. makes me want to turn my tablet into a speaking machine though, ah well another project, another day.
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