Simon Lucas is a professor of Artificial Intelligence and Head of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London where he also heads the Game AI Research Group. He holds a PhD degree (1991) in Electronics and Computer Science from the University of Southampton. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Games and co-founded the IEEE Conference on Games. His research involves developing and applying computational intelligence techniques to build better game AI, use AI to design better games, provide deep insights into the nature of intelligence and work towards Artificial General Intelligence. He is the QMUL lead for the EPSRC-funded CDT in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI).
For his Turing fellowship Simon will be exploring new ways to apply game AI to help make better real-world decisions. Games always pose the problem of: given the current state of the system, what should one do next?
Recent developments in game AI have clearly demonstrated that machines can learn complex and effective decision making policies often to super-human levels of intelligence. However, to achieve has so far required that we have a model of the game or real-world problem, often referred to as a forward model. For complex real-world problems we often need to deal with flawed models and incomplete data.
The research will explore better ways to learn models, and also how to cope better with model inaccuracies and incomplete data. This is seen as a pressing challenge in AI. Promising approaches involve deep reinforcement learning, statistical forward planning and evolutionary algorithms (especially model-based ones designed to be sample-efficient and cope with high levels of noise).