27 July 2021
by Christopher Acornley, Abertay University
I attended the 3rd International Summer School on Artificial Intelligence and Video Games, organised by modl.ai between the 5th and 9th of July 2021. The summer school focused on three key areas, AI playing games, AI for generating games content and modelling players with AI. The event had over 250 registered participants from all over the world.
Due to COVID restrictions, the summer school was online only, hosted in Copenhagen. Talks were from many companies and academics, including Creative Assembly, DeepMind, Zynga, King, Microsoft, Unity, AWS Game Tech, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Locomotion, Latitude, and researchers from modl.ai themselves. The week consisted of several talks and some workshops wherever possible, with a great focus on current AI trends being used in the three key areas of the conference. A Game Jam ran throughout the week, organised by Antionios Liapis which encouraged engagement by the school’s participants and each evening a live stream was done on the YouTube channel ‘Summer School on AI and Games TV’.
The summer school was an excellent learning experience, with both the two head lecturers, Julian Togelius and Georgios N. Yannakakis, giving background talks about the days general topic followed by more in-depth examples by the guest speakers. Each talk gave a fascinating perspective of different AI’s being used in various fields and how they are generally implemented within the industry. This approach was particularly useful to me as I have only considered these types of AI’s in an academic sense. The talks were very informative on the practical methods used, with the speakers and other participants being very well versed in the topics which lead to very interesting discussions.
I would like to thank SICSA for providing me with the opportunity to attend this school, where I got to share my current PhD research with industry members and academics. I received some very positive feedback when discussing my own approaches to my research and I hope to be able to put their recommendations into practice.