Module 4: Game Searches

Topic 5: Game Search and Ethics

Ethics of Game Search

How can one be unethical in game search?  I can think of several ways!  

  • Money: Where there is money involved, humans want to find a way to win.  Unfortunately, this approach is not always the ethical way to win!  How does this relate to AI and ethics?  This one isn’t so much about accidental harm caused by deploying an AI algorithm but rather deliberate misuse of AI algorithms!  If someone really wants that winning money, they may try to find a way to use AI to cheat, no matter what game it is!  Two quick examples (of many that I could pick) follow.
  • Using hidden knowledge: Consider writing a new game and writing the AI for it.  If you want your game to make money, you want players to enjoy playing against the AI.  But how much knowledge should the AI have?  Is it ethical for the AI to use the knowledge it has of the full state of the game when the human players do not have that access?

Assignment: designing a game AI for everyone

For this assignment, I want you to assume that you are creating a design document for a brand new game that will be playable for players of all ages, children to adults.  Think something like Zoo Tycoon or something else that could appeal to all ages.  Your players will need an AI that provides enough challenge for them to enjoy the game but not so much challenge that winning is too hard (then it becomes de-motivating!).  

What I want you to do is to write up a 1-page design document that outlines the ethical considerations you need to follow to create your AI.  The canvas quiz will have a template for you to follow.  Note:  this will be graded essentially as participation, e.g. if you give thoughtful answers, it will count.  If you just try to slap something down or, worse yet, ask ChatGPT to do it for you, it will NOT count!