Bot Colony – a videogame built on intelligent AI-powered conversation

I Bought the game 2~ years ago, when the developer was pulling the plug (the expenses of hosting the NLU was too high and sales were pretty bad), and I kinda forgot about it in the meantime. However work on the game continued and there have been updates, which greatly improved the game (especially speech-to-text), but the game is not getting much attention. So I thought I would share it here, to give it more exposure, as the game is on sale on Steam currently at 5.99$, so I encourage anyone interested to try it out. I really enjoyed my playtime with it after the most recent update.

Here’s a text about the NLU (Natural Language Understanding) the game uses:

Link to the game:

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from Artificial Intelligence

How to learn basic AI algorithms for a new comer (with hands on programming)?

Programming language is not a problem.

I want to start up on AI and ML. But right now I would like to learn about the decision trees and algorithms like alpha-beta pruning etc. My basic aim is to generate interest in the topic as well as any help regarding any interview questions, certainly with the programming contests where you have to build a bot which plays against other bots.

I would appreciate if enough guidance is there to code up sample programs.

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from Artificial Intelligence

Examining Intelligent Robots and Their Role in Society

By Pennsylvania State University

June 22, 2017


As the robotics industry continues to rapidly grow, so, too, does the controversy surrounding robots and the ethical dilemmas related to their entrance into, and their use and acceptance in, society.

Will robots eventually take people’s jobs and cause mass unemployment? Should communities automate law enforcement with robots — and what if a robot shoots a civilian? What role should robots play in the military? There are no answers to these questions at the moment, but there will be a lot of in-depth discussion around them in a new integrative studies course targeted for offering in fall 2018.

Through the Integrative Seed Grant Program, offered through the Penn State Office for General Education, Alan Wagner, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, will develop and teach a course titled “Robots and Their Role in Society,” which will explore the growing influence and impact of robots and artificial intelligence on society.

“The real purpose of the course is to expose a wide variety of students to the types of benefits and diverse and numerous challenges that robotic technology presents, while posing challenging ethical questions that are not embedded in a single discipline,” says Wagner, who is also affiliated with the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute. “In doing so, students will be challenged to evaluate their own value systems, develop their own stances on issues, and develop critical thinking and communication skills.”

The course will not be technical in its treatment of robots, but rather will focus on the previous, current, and upcoming ethics-related dilemmas and problems posed by the advent of intelligent robots. Some of these issues will be unique to robotics, others will fall within the context of computing, in general, and still others will be new manifestations of more general ethical, political, and constitutional laws.

Topics to be covered in the course will include ethical foundations; robots in the military; professional responsibility; robots and privacy; robots as sexual objects; and robots as intelligent, volitional beings, to name a few.

Wagner intends for the course, which will be primarily for juniors and seniors in various majors, to be highly interactive and include a research component with student presentations.

“I think it’s important to train students to think for themselves and to come to their own conclusions,” says Wagner. “This course will present students with open-ended questions and problems that are important problems for the future, our future and even more so, their future. It won’t be lecture after lecture because there are no answers to these questions yet.”

Wagner also plans to collaborate with the Schreyer Honors College to help identify interdisciplinary students who may be interested in the course, and the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education to help develop new ways to teach ethics to students that will deliver lessons that they can benefit from throughout their careers, no matter what field they go into.

“In the past, ethics courses used to be tack-on courses that outlined more of what an individual should or shouldn’t do in a certain situation, or they covered various rules one should follow,” says Wagner. “With the increased insertion of robots into society and across many industries, we’re now faced with situations, scenarios, and issues where we don’t necessarily know what the right thing to do is. Even if students won’t interact with robots in their careers, we can teach them to think in different ways, effectively communicate those thoughts, and understand, accept, and respect different viewpoints of others if they do face similar issues.”

The Seed Grant Program will support 71 different course development projects this summer. The awarded proposals include faculty from Penn State campuses across Pennsylvania.


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from Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence

Uncle Sam Wants Your Deep Neural Networks

By The New York Times

June 22, 2017


TSA body scanner

Transportation Safety Administration employees demonstrating a body scanner.

Credit: Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times

The Department of Homeland Security is turning to data scientists to improve screening techniques at airports.

From The New York Times
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from Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence