The initiative is a joint effort of over 65 AI experts, including game AI developers, academics, middleware
representatives, and other relevant experts. The committee plans on developing interface
standards in such areas as pathfinding, steering, decision trees, finite state
machines, rule-based systems, goal-oriented action planning, and world
Putting industry standards in place for basic AI interfaces should make it easer for developers to create believable and interesting non-player characters that can learn and have emotions as well as complex reasoning and interaction skills. Furthermore,
developers should be able to create advanced AI technologies like automated
story-telling systems that adapt to a player's interests.
The question now is whether or not the committee can come up with interface designs for such diverse high level problems that would allow enough flexibility to be widely applicable, without over generalising to the extent that the standard becomes either unusable or unimplementable. Another risk is that it would not be possible to implement the standard efficiency, of in a way that could be suitable for hardware acceleration. Both desirable goals for the games developer community.
If the Committee achieves it's goals in just one of the areas of interest, and reference implementations are made available, it will be making the same contribution to AI as OpenGL an DirectX have made to graphics. If it fails, it will have simply been a massive waste of time.
About the IGDA
The International Game Developers Association is a non-profit association established
by game developers to foster the creation of a worldwide game development community.
The IGDA's mission is to build a community of game developers, which leverages
the expertise of its members for the betterment of the industry and the development
of the art form.
An official press release for this announcment can be found here: www.igda.org/About/Press/press_081302.htm