UTCS Colloquia/AI - Charles Isbell/Georgia Tech, "Adaptive Drama Management: Bringing Machine Learning to Interactive Entertainment", ACES 2.402

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Apr 8, 2011 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found at



Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquia/AI

Speaker/Affiliation: Charle

s Isbell/Georgia Tech

Talk Audience: UTCS Faculty, Graduate Students

, Undergrads, and Outside Interested Parties

Date/Time: Friday, Apri

l 8, 2011, 11:00 a.m.

Location: ACES 2.402

Host: Peter Stone

Talk Title: Adaptive Drama Management: Bringing Machine Learning to Inte

ractive Entertainment

Talk Abstract:
In recent years, there has bee

n a growing interest in constructing rich interactive entertainment and tra

ining experiences. As these experiences have grown in complexity, there ha

s been a corresponding growing need for the development of robust technolog

ies to shape and modify those experiences in reaction to the actions of hum

an participants.

When thinking about how machine learning and artifici

al intelligence could help, one notes that the traditional goal of AI game

s---to win the game---is not particularly useful; rather, the goal is to

make the human player''s play experience better while being consistent with
the goals of the author.

In this talk, I will present our technical

efforts to achieve this goal by using machine learning as a way to allow de

signers to specify problems in broad strokes while allowing a machine do fu

rther fine-tuning. In particular, I discuss (1) Targeted Trajectory Distri

bution Markov Decision Processes (TTD-MDPs), an extension of MDPs that pro

vide variety of experience during repeated execution and (2) computational

influence, an automated way of operationalizing theories of influence and

persuasion from social psychology to help guide players without decreasing

their feelings of autonomy. I also describe our evaluation of these techniq

ues with both simulations and an interactive storytelling system with human

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Charles Lee Isbell, Jr. received his BS
in computer science in 1990 from the Georgia Institute of Technology and h

is PhD in 1998 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After four y

ears at AT&T Labs, he returned to Georgia Tech as faculty at the College o

f Computing. Charles'' research interests are varied, but recently he has

been building autonomous agents that engage in life-long learning in the pr

esence of thousands of other intelligent agents, including humans. His wor

k has been featured in the popular media, including The New York Times and
the Washington Post, as well as in technical collections, where he has w

on two best paper awards in this area. Charles also pursues reform in CS ed

ucation. He was a developer of Threads, Georgia Tech''s new structuring pr

inciple for computing curricula. Recently, he has become the Associate Dea

n of Academic Affairs for the College of Computing.