How AI is Designed to Play Strategy Games

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AI is Designed to Play Strategy Games

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is machine intelligence, as opposed to the natural intelligence that biological creatures possess. As AI becomes more advanced over the years; it’s witnessed an almost exponential growth in its advancement and application – especially since the turn of the millennium.

AI is applied today in almost all situations and scenarios. It has proven to be extremely adaptable – and indeed, even seen to evolve with time. One of the many areas where AI is applied today is in playing games that typically rely on prediction and information to make decisions. These are usually clubbed under the category of ‘strategy games’ with popular play rummy, teen patti and poker options available.But even within the ambit of strategy games, two forms exist.

Games of perfect information


These are games where the player, before making any decision, is perfectly informed of all the events that have occurred in the game previously, including the ‘initialisation event’, meaning the starting information of the game is also perfectly (read completely) known.

Games that fall in this category include chess, Go, checkers and tic-tac-toe. Essentially, the opponent’s moves are never hidden; what they will do next (as in the future) is the only unknown in these types of games.

Games of imperfect information


These are also called stochastic games, and a player has access to varying levels of the events that have occurred in the game previously. This usually means that the ‘initialisation event’ of the game is not completely known (to any of the players). These are the games that we say rely on ‘luck’ to some extent, such as poker, blackjack, and teen patti.

Here, a distinction must be made between games that employ a lot of ‘luck’ (read as having many unknown variables) or those that employ less ‘luck’. Roulette can be considered a game that relies a lot on luck while blackjack relies much less on luck.

Rummy is a game that straddles the line perfectly; it’s as much about luck as it is about skill. The core issue that is to be addressed in these games is how the AI will respond to having to base itself on a strategy game that has not revealed all its variables to it.

AI approach to games of perfect information


The AI approach to games of perfect information is pretty straightforward. A human player can intuitively determine an approach to victory and set about achieving it. An AI system does not have the luxury of intuition and must be much more systematic in its approach. The way it does so is by generating possibilities, based on the current data, to look forward a few turns into the game.

This approach may sound simple, but it can get complicated as there are literally millions of possibilities that can be generated within a span of just looking at five moves in the future of the game. These computations get increasingly complex and time-consuming, thereby failing in their purpose due to the sheer volume of data that must be processed.

The trick is to try and recognise those branches of possibilities that have a high rate of success in achieving the eventual outcome of the game. AI employed to play these games typically does a very good job of it since knowing all the variables gives it a definite advantage in analysis and interpretation of future events based on the events as they are presented to it in the present.

AI approach to games of imperfect information


The greatest difference in AI’s approach in dealing with stochastic games is that it does not have all the information. Thus, it has to generate a ‘complete’ picture of the game, assuming the information it doesn’t have. Since it cannot assume the information for all possibilities (due to complexity, calculation, and time constraints) it tries to generate a finite set of possibilities using randomly selected values for the variables it does not have the value of, thereby generating a complete picture. Thus, the real efforts here are to fine-tune how to select the ‘random’ numbers to enhance the probability of a win.

Conclusion

AI has entered the world of gaming and is now committed to giving us an opponent to practice against (human versus AI), but there are still many sites that promote a human-versus-human approach to these games, something AI watches to learn from.

Sites like RummyCircle are a good option for a Rummy game download, for they offer the best experience to customers while giving them the option to enjoy the game against AI of variable difficulty or a human opponent.

Usually, it’s a human-versus-human match that generates the most interest once the nuances of a game are understood. AI still has a long way to go before it can mimic humans in their ability to play such games.

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