Believable Agents and Interactive Drama

Believable agents are autonomous agents that exhibit rich personalities. Interactive dramas take place in virtual worlds inhabited by characters (believable agents) with whom an audience interacts. In the course of this interaction, the audience experiences a story (lives a plot arc). This report presents the research philosophy behind the Oz Project, a research group at CMU that has spent the last ten years studying believable agents and interactive drama….

For believable agents, personality is king. A character may be smart or dumb, well adapted to its environment or poorly adapted. But regardless of how “smart” a character is at dealing with their environment, everything they do, they do in their own personal style. On the other hand, the focus in AI is on competence. For classical AI, this has often meant competence at complex reasoning and problem solving. For behavioral AI, this has often meant moving around in complex environments without getting stepped on, falling off a ledge, or stuck behind obstacles….