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AI programs do battle in Ms Pac-Man

June 7, 2011
Ms Pac Man

(credit: CEC 2011 Ms Pac-Man vs Ghost Team Competition)

The Ms Pac-Man vs Ghost Team Competition has put AI controllers in charge of video game characters in an effort to see which plays the game best.

Competitors submitted AI controllers for either Ms Pac-Man or the team of four ghosts, and each contestant faced off against the rest to determine a winner. The Ms Pac-Man AI had to maximize its score, while the ghost AI had to prevent Ms Pac-Man from scoring. The competition was organized by Philipp Rohlfshagen and Simon Lucas, two computer scientists at the University of Essex, with the results announced June 6 at the Congress on Evolutionary Computation in New Orleans.

How did the AI controllers do? Compared to a human, not great: the highest scoring Ms Pac-Man controller was 69,240, while the world record stands at more than 900,000 points.

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