My current 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 hope to bring new and advanced technology to the video games and interactive media industry, which will generate 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 hope to continue to push the state of the art in AI by using games and their specific challenges as testbeds, ramping up their difficulty to real-world problems requiring general-purpose human-level intelligence. 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. 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 this 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!