From the beginnings of the computer game revolution, way back when some Ph.D. geek first decided this amazing new technology just had to be turned to the lofty pursuit of tic-tac-toe, there has been an implicit assumption that technology can and will solve any problems that come our way. Indeed, back then natural language processing was thought to be right around the corner, and the development of sentient AI seemed easily within reach. It was only a matter of time before humanoid robots became our confidants and contemporaries.
In the harsh reality of the following decades all attempts to build AI that can handle believable language interaction have failed. On the interactive fiction and storytelling front, the most agile programs remain unable to sustain suspension of disbelief for more than a moment or two. Even comparatively simple pursuits such as pathfinding and NPC behavior often destroy suspension of disbelief, forcing developers to turn to scripting and predetermination in order to keep players imaginatively involved in their games. [ Read more ]