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It's no secret that DEFCON was inspired by the movie wargames and if you remember, the central theme was that the computer that controlled the defence grid was about to nuke the world. Well this got us thinking about how easy it would be to create a computer based opponent for DEFCON - of course DEFCON comes with a training AI, but is it possible to generate a really tough - dare I say - unbeatable computer player?

So we teamed up with the smartest people we knew - The Imperial College Department of Computing - and got them on the case. They did a great job and created a bot that consistently beat our training AI which you can read about here. But that wasn't enough for us. We went to the UK Technology Strategy Board and acquired funding to develop an API for DEFCON so that anyone could develop a DEFCON AI using any techniques they see fit.

We are currently working with Imperial to push this project to the UK academic community with the hope that Computer Science Students will take up the development of DEFCON bots as projects for their degree courses and you can read the e-mail from Dr. Simon Colton here. Whilst we are pushing the project to lecturers and institutions in the UK we would strongly encourage any students (no matter where they are) who would be interested in working with DEFCON to discuss the project with their tutors and get involved.

Despite our focus on academia, we do not want to exclude the ordinary Joe, and I'd love to see some work from talented individuals who are interested in seeing what they can come up with.

If you would like to try your hand at developing the next world destroying AI, you'll need to start by downloading the API here. You can also get hold of it from Robin's personal page here. Full documentation is included as is a sample bot to get you started. Please also subscribe to the DEFCON AI mailing list here which will be used to provide support and discuss technical issues. So what are you waiting for? Get started and let's see about who can write the most efficient killing machine!


Robin Baumgarten talks about development of the API for

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