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Book review: ‘Playing Smart: On Games, Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence’


  • Written by Dominic Lenton

‘Playing Smart: On Games, Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence’ by Julian Togelius (The MIT Press, £16.99, ISBN 978026239031) is the latest addition to MIT Press’ ‘Playful Thinking’ series; a series of small-format books designed to slip into a pocket or backpack that provide concise overviews of different aspects of the history and possible future of various aspects of games technology. Combining depth with readability they’re aimed at readers who “are interested in playing more thoughtfully and thinking more playfully”. The emphasis here is very much on intelligence, with academic and games expert Julian Togelius exploring how activities we’d naturally think of as ‘games’ are used to test AI algorithms, challenge our thinking and better understand both natural and artificial intelligence. ... By studying how we play and design games, we can better understand how humans and machines think.

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