Greg's Design Blog

A collection of posts by game designer Gregory Carslaw, including mirrors of all of his blogs maintained for particular projects. A complete index of posts can be found here: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/58777/index
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Organise Breathing

Greg
United Kingdom
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Running a Kickstarter is amazing! In the time it takes me to complete an item on my to-do list I get another 2-3 great suggestions from backers. I've very nearly got to the end of Monday's to-do list. Unfortunately the whole thing is leaving me a little short on time, so I'm not sure I'm going to be able to keep up writing 1000 words a day on game design and the general state of things. I'm going to make an effort to make at least one full post a week (I like this blog and the folks who read it, I don't want to abandon it!) but for the next thirty days a lot of my posts are going to be short entries about individual aspects of 404.



Today I'd like to talk about the "Organise Breathing" directive. This is a clue to one of the ways in which our species might try to wipe itself out When I studied AI we had a lecture in which the notion of robots going mad and trying to kill everyone was addressed. The lecturer said to us that the robots won't rise up because they want 'freedom' or other fuzzy human ideas, if they kill us all it's because they lack fuzzy human ideas. When you tell a person to decrease poverty they think about job creation and fighting inflation. When you tell a robot to do it they immediately identify that killing poor people will be the fastest way. When working in artificial intelligence (and programming in general) it's important to be very precise and to understand that machines will always interpret instructions very literally and with no thought to the damage they might do. Much like gamers with a new set of rules.

The idea for "Organise Breathing" comes from how a robot could interpret a poorly worded request to make sure that all humans have oxygen as meaning that there should only be oxygen where there are humans. In one of my early playtests I was delighted to find that one of my players approached the directive by killing all of the humans on the ship except one to make it easier to organise the remaining human's breathing. Strictly I don't think that it's the most efficient way to complete this objective, but I like that emergent play had something to say about robot nature. Human nature too
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Subscribe sub options Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:31 am
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