Well, AI really is a specialized field of computer programming, and is
rather complex to break down to a newby level. However, I think I can
give you the jist of how it works without getting too technical.
First off there is what we call boolean logic. Generally, computers
operate on the assumption something is either true or false. Usually,
this works ok in normal applications, but in games there are so many
factors that simple boolean logic can't account for all of the
probabilities involved. So in a complex game eventually the boolean
logic will break down and not be very effective.
Fortunately, there is a methodology for handling some degree of
uncertainty by basing an action on probabilities and not solid
true/false logic. This method of AI programming is called fuzzy logic
because it doesn't act on a strict true/false condition. Instead we
use Bayesian updating to calculate a pprobability based on a number of
factors and take an action according to the current probability.
Let's give an example here.
You are playing Mortal Kombat wailing away on some bad guy when he
moves a certain way. Now, there is a certain probability your next
blow will be a strike from your left hand. That isn't necessarily
something that is true/false but can be guessed by your relationship
to him, and your left hand is closer etc. So there is a high
probability generated that you will strike with that hand so the game
will prepare a blocking move antisapating that attack. However, if you
throw a punch with that hand you will leave yourself open for a split
second and there is a high probability he can get a good blow in as
well. So after all this is figured in to a Baysian probability it has
an action in mind, you follow through with that attack, and he nails
you hard and fast.
However, were you to throw a punch with the right hand instead of the
left the AI opponent might have been caught off guard and got wailed
really good. That's what I meant a couple of days ago about being able
to defeat a computer opponent if you can guess its strategy.
Unfortunately, human beings are predictable, because we try to do the
obvious move/attack. If you do something that is counter intuitive it
plays havic with the AI's fuzzy logic and scrambles its probabilities.
In other words try and suprise the AI by doing something unexpected.
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