Wednesday, July 03, 2013

After four years left to themselves, Quake III bots evolve to 'world peace'

Will humans ever evolve to the point that world peace is possible. Yes, if they can reach the level of intelligence of Quake III bots, as reported on Monday.

Quake III, also known as Quake III Arena, was released in December of 1999. Despite this, the bots showed superior artificial intelligence when compared to the real intelligence of humans.

According to a message board thread on 4Chan, starting about 2007 a gamer set up Quake III server with 16 bots playing each other. In 2011, four years later, he remembered the server, and returned to see what happened.

It wasn't until Monday that a report emerged from the depths of 4Chan.

According to the message board thread, the unknown gamer discovered the bots were doing absolutely nothing. They were not shooting, dodging, and killing, but instead had discovered that the way to win the battle was to abandon violent activity and simply stand facing each other.

No one would win, but neither would anyone die. The bots -- which those who remember Quake III will recall, were coded to have a sort of "learning AI" -- had evolved to the point that they determined (game) world peace was the best course.

Although the gamer had not returned for four years, it's unclear if it actually took that long for them to evolved as such. Each of the AI files was a huge 512MB per bot, for a total of 8GB of "evolution." As one gamer in the thread put it, the bots were "waiting for a purpose or salvation".

There was such a purpose to come.

The gamer changed the map, but nothing happened, so he joined the game, and the bots continued to "just stand there".

He said:
They would rotate to look at me. I walked around a little bit and they all just kept looking at me.
Still, as humans are wont to do, he disrupted the peace, by firing a shot. As soon as the first shot was fired "they all ran for the nearest weapons, took me down and the server crashed."

It's unclear what is happening on the server now. In the universe of science fiction, the bots would continue to fight, until they reach the equilibrium of peace, again.

While the original poster of the thread in question argued that his story was valid, it's unclear that it is, and it is clear that many in the thread were unconvinced by his tale. Still, it makes for the stuff of legends, gaming legends.

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