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Come to the GDC 2017 AI Summit and get tips on making games smarter

With GDC 2017 drawing nigh, organizers share details on some great talks from developers of Watch Dogs 2 and the high-powered Havok tech at the conference's AI Summit.

January 5, 2017

3 Min Read

As the 2017 Game Developers Conference draws nigh, organizers would like to quickly let you know about some of the great talks on artificial intelligence in games that will be taking place during the March conference.

Each of these talks is part of the GDC AI Summit, one of eight that will take place Monday, February 27th and Tuesday, February 28th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA -- the first two days of the conference.

Each Summit offers a comprehensive overview of a specific game industry discipline, and the AI Summit is no exception. This year, for example, Havok Inc. AI team lead Ben Sunshine-Hill shows you how to implement an asynchronous task processing system in his AI Summit talk on "Beyond Framerate: Taming your Timeslice through Asynchrony."

Such a system can smooth CPU spikes, leverage idle cores, and guarantee an exact processing time limit for your AI step, allowing programmers to still use complex and long-running AI computation in a real-time video game without compromising simulation quality.

Come to Sunshine-Hill's talk and you'll learn why AI is uniquely suited to asynchronous processing, how to implement an asynchronous task manager, which tasks to make asynchronous, and how to coordinate asynchronous and synchronous processing.

The AI Summit will also play host to a great talk on crowd AI from Ubisoft's Roxanne Blouin-Payer, a game designer on Watch Dogs 2. In "Helping it all Emerge: Managing Crowd AI in 'Watch Dogs 2'" Blouin-Payer will show how Ubisoft approached emergent AI in order to fill the game world with interesting, reactive characters to create countless unique, unscripted, but ultimately memorable anecdotes.

Attend and see concrete examples of how Ubisoft approached the creation of emergent AI for game characters. Additionally, the attendee will come away with specific ideas on how to implement these techniques to harness emergence to craft mood and storytelling for a game.

Also, Ubisoft lead AI programmer Eric Martel will deliver a great talk on "Can You See Me Now?: Building Robust AI Sensory Systems."  Drawing on work from the Assassin's Creed and Thief game franchises, this session describes how to construct advanced sensory systems to provide gameplay depth for the player. The presentation focuses mostly on visual detection but also covers audio detection.

Come to this talk and you'll see concrete examples of advanced sensory systems in working titles and learn how to apply various aspects of them in their own games.

For more details on these and all other announced talks head over to the online GDC 2017 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon.

And of course conference officials look forward to announcing many more GDC 2017 Summit sessions spanning a diverse array of game industry issues in the months ahead. For now, don't miss the opportunity to save money by registering for the conference early -- the deadline to register for passes at a discounted rate is January 18, 2017. GDC 2017 itself will take place February 27th - March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For more information on GDC 2017, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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