Hot Jobs

Kickstarter is looking for a Games Content Strategist to work at its office in Brooklyn, evaluating games projects, writing about them, and promoting them through various online outlets.. The company is also looking for a Games Intern for a 3 month research project. There’ll be a lot of detail work online and either previous academic study of games or 3-4 years of professional experience with games is required.

Recruiter Aardvark Swift is searching for a Marketing Manager to work at The Pokemon Company in London. The successful applicant will familiar with media for 4-14 year olds across Europe.

Steamforged Games (Guild Ball, Dark Souls) is looking to fill two positions: Commercial Brand Coordinator and Retail Support Manager, both in Tukwila, Washington. The former will focus on marketing, the latter on retailer account management.

Esdevium Games, part of the Asmodee Group in the U.K., has openings for a Finance Manager, an HR Officer, and a Sales and Customer Service Account Handler. The last of those is about sales to the hobby channel.

University Games, located in the Mission area of San Francisco, needs someone to fill the dual role of Receptionist and Office Manager.

The Stars Group is working to develop a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence that could learn to play a variety of games. Toward that end, the company is recruiting for a Poker AI Research Engineer and a Graduate Poker AI Research Engineer.

Cubicle 7 needs an Office Assistant in Swindon, U.K. to help with customer service, order handling, and administrative tasks.

Tabletop Tycoon (Game Salute, Myriad Games, Ship Naked) is staffing up in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The company has job openings for an Account Manager, an Assistant Account Manager, full and part-time Fulfillment Staff, and a General Manager. The Account Manager and Assistant Account Manager will be responsible for sales and logistics for Ship Naked. Fulfillment Staff will handle packing and shipping. The General Manager, who will run everything, is expected on-site 7:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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First it defeated the World Go Champion. Then it took down the world’s top ranked player in straight games 3-0. Finally, it won against a team of five champions working together. Now, with no serious competition left, the AlphaGo artificial intelligence program is retiring from the game. According to its developer, Google-subsidiary DeepMind:

The research team behind AlphaGo will now throw their energy into the next set of grand challenges, developing advanced general algorithms that could one day help scientists as they tackle some of our most complex problems, such as finding new cures for diseases, dramatically reducing energy consumption, or inventing revolutionary new materials. If AI systems prove they are able to unearth significant new knowledge and strategies in these domains too, the breakthroughs could be truly remarkable.

As one last gift to Go players, though, the program was set to play against itself over 50 games and the results are being published for study. One 9 Dan professional player described them as, “Like nothing I’ve ever seen before – they’re how I imagine games from far in the future.”

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Chess Game Overhead ViewComputer programs for Chess are already quite adept, playing at a level that exceeds the best human grandmasters.  Currently, though, they work on a brute-force approach, using raw processing power to evaluate all possible subsequent moves. That may change.

Matthew Lai, a graduate student at the Imperial College of London, has developed a Chess engine that, using neural networks, applies pattern recognition techniques to narrow the decision tree. The program, which Lai named Giraffe [PDF], honed its pattern recognition skills by playing against itself for a period of 72 hours and comparing the results of each decision to a database of Chess games.

Now after considering the global state of the game, piece-specific factors, and a map of the spaces threatened and defended, Giraffe is able to predict the best move 46 percent of the time and select a top-three that includes that best move 70 percent of the time, all without looking ahead. This rates Giraffe at about the level of a FIDE International Master.

The beauty of this approach is in its generality. While it was not explored in this project due to time constraint, it is likely that this approach can easily be ported to other zero-sum turn-based board games, and achieve state-of-art performance quickly, especially in games where there has not been decades of intense research into creating a strong AI player.

[via MIT Technology Review]

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AI Game Designer

artificial intelligenceWatch out human game designers, your days may be numbered!

An artificial intelligence named Scheherazade, created by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed choose-your-own-adventure games that test nearly equal to those developed by a human.

At this point, human authored interactive narrative still remains the most cost-effective means of generating an interactive narrative experience. However, open interactive narrative shows promise in reducing authorial burden in the near future. Scheherazade-IF and the lessons we learned in creating and evaluating it serve as a first step in creating human-quality interactive narrative with almost no human authoring required.

This was among the conclusions reached after a study [PDF] that had the AI produce interactive fiction for two scenarios, one involving a bank robbery and the other a date to a movie.

In fact, this is not the first time a programmed system has authored a game scenario. What allowed these results to test so well, however, was a crowdsourcing approach adopted by the researchers. Alternate stories for the way each scenario might unfold were collected through the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform. From the language of those stories the AI assembled the branching narratives.

[via CNET]

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