My research combines two fields that are developing more societal relevance and
growing bigger markets year by year: artificial intelligence and games.
On the one hand, I do "AI for games" -- meaning that I develop AI for board games, card games, and video games. I hope to bring new and advanced technology to the video games and interactive media industries, which generated an estimated $109 billion in revenues in 2017. Applications go beyond entertainment into e.g. teaching and training, mental health, and art.
On the other hand, I do "games for AI" -- meaning that I continue to push the state of the art in AI by using games and their varied challenges as testbeds. The list of successful applications of game AI techniques to non-game domains is already impressive today, from finance to manufacturing, from transportation to software engineering, and from medicine to space exploration. In my own work, it started with optimizing robotic warehouses, and is currently focused on managing flexibility in future energy markets in order to allow for an increasing share of renewable energy.
Recent articles in Nature and Science on Go AI, Poker AI, and Atari game AI show only the tip of the iceberg of how promising the game approach to AI development can be -- and how important its teaching to the next generation of technology leaders as well as its communication to a wider audience.
Moreover, games are a lot of fun!