Thursday, February 22, 2007

Virtual Bot vs Lego Bot

I've always wanted to create a sentient Lego robot. For a long time now I have had plans to try create a large computer bank running some kind of AI/learning program that wirelessly transmits with a Lego robot. The new NXT system from Lego and the open standards they've implemented definitely makes this a possible reality.

Things this robot should one day implement, among other things are, a visual processing system, feedback from sensors on the body, and should be able to fire various motor skills. The body sensors should mostly include sensors to indicate touch and feel (sensing bodily harm).

Now as of last week I just became a dedicated WoW player. Besides the mixed responses you may give about the game or greater culture of it, listen to the idea. What about bridging the control of a WoW character to an AI program as I wanted to link to my Lego robot?.. Now I have heard of 'botting' programs that are already (although illegally) available to gamers that allow them to put their character on 'auto-pilot'. Thus they can level their character without going through the painstaking chore of culling 1000's of creatures.

So whats the difference? I don't want to create a program for someones levelling convenience, I want to create a sentient program that lives inside the game. The AI program would live and believe it exists inside of another world. It wouldn't just run ten spells by sequence to gain a level - It will think it is fulfilling its purpose. It wont run from a higher levelling creature because its programmed to - It will run for its very life. The robot will live and learn within the rules and boundaries of the game. There is definitely a certain philosophical aspect to be taken into account to understand where I'm going with the idea. Kinda reminiscent of the Matrix. Human players being human and this robot being,.. I dunno a virus or independent program...

Now implementing this thought experiment would most definitely breach Blizzards ToS (See 14.a). I do understand that Blizzard would not want unmanned characters destroying everything in the game world as this would ruin the game play for the human players. So don't worry Blizzard I'm not going to do it. I wouldn't know how anyway,.. my experience goes as far as Lego I'm afraid.
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