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AI Summit: 'Age of Empires IV': Machine Learning Trials and Tribulations

Guy Leroy  (Associate Researcher, Microsoft)

Sam Devlin  (Principal Researcher, Microsoft)

Peter Chan  (Senior AI Engineer, Relic Entertainment)

Andrea Schiel  (Principal AI Engineer, Microsoft)

Location: Room 2016, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 10:50 am - 11:50 am

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Yes

Machine Learning is a powerful technique now in use within games but it is not always apparent about when to apply it or at what level to apply it. Age of Empires IV, the latest instalment in the long running RTS franchise, is a very AI intensive game and an obvious candidate for ML application. We will cover some of the ML techniques, including Reinforcement Learning, used in AoE IV but with specific focus on what worked, and why some didn't. We'll also cover some of the ongoing research and early results. We'll cover training techniques, how to choose between the vast array of ML tools, and what we did to optimize the (runtime) inference. We highlight the technical challenges involved in integrating cutting edge RL research into a modern AAA game. This talk will be a joint presentation between Microsoft ML researchers and the AI developers that worked on AoE IV.


Attendees will gain insights into the processes behind how and when to leverage Machine Learning, including Reinforcement Learning, for a more compelling experience for the players. Tools and results will also be covered.

Intended Audience

Intended for an audience with a background in game AI and a light understanding of Machine Learning. This presentation can benefit game designers, AI developers, and Machine Learning engineers who are keen to know more about practical applications and the potential of Machine Learning in video games.