AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

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zultar
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AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#1 Post by zultar » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:00 pm

Dear webDip community,

The mod team, Kestas, and I are happy to announce that we are introducing Artificial Intelligence bots to webDip. We will be the very first site to utilize machine learning to create these bots that will work seamlessly with the games we have instead of having to download a separate program or software.

We have been working with a researcher on creating this AI bot that can play classic gunboat and 1v1 games fairly well. Over the last several months, the mod team and I have been working to iron out the kinks in the bots and refining their strategies and tactics. I think and hope that most of you will find the bots are capable of holding their own in these games. They are well integrated into the site and can easily substitute for players in gunboat games. In a follow-up post, Jmo will provide the specific details of how the bots will work on the site and some of these features are just plain awesome.

Thank you to everyone who worked with us on this. In particular, I want to specifically thank the researcher who created this bot with us, and Squigs and Jmo for integrating the bot into the site and creating many additional features. They have spent countless hours to make this happen.

If we weren’t already the best place to play Diplomacy online, I think we have surpassed everyone else by several leaps. I hope you feel the same way.

zultar
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jmo1121109
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#2 Post by jmo1121109 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:01 pm

Alright, now to get to the part about how these bots will work on the site!

Myself and Squigs44 have been working for the last few months on integrating the bots into the site for what we hope will be a seamless experience for all of you. In the game creation page you will see a new link at the top called "Play a game with bots". This will take you to a new page where you will be able to select a classic, France vs Austria, or Germany vs Italy game. You will be able to choose which country you'd like play as, or you can leave "random" as the default to let the site choose for you like normal. And the final user setting is the game name.

The site will start the game right away, and all of these games will be unranked, non anonymous, 72 hours, 5 point bet (returned at the end), non hidden draw vote, gunboat, with 4 excused missed turns. Even though the games are 72 hour phases, the bots will enter and ready orders within a minute of a turn progressing. So as soon as you click the ready button the game will progress. In this sense all of these games are live and on demand. So you can come to the site anytime you have the urge to play diplomacy now, and kick off a bot game. Choosing your own country and bot games in general will NOT impact the weighted % of drawing countries like other games do.

The bots do NOT understand stalemate lines or unwinnable situations so the bots have special voting logic.
• The bots will always vote pause when you do. So you can pause and unpause a bot game at any time
• The bots will always vote to cancel or draw when you do in the first 2 turns.
• The bots will always vote to cancel in the first 4 turns.
• If a bot is not winning (owning the most centers) it will always vote to cancel or draw when you do.
• If a bot is winning (owning the most centers) it will not vote to draw or cancel unless 4 turns go by without it gaining any more centers to prevent a stalemated game from continuing forever.
• In 1 vs 1 games you can always vote to concede which will declare the bot the winner right away.
• If you are eliminated from the game the bots will all draw.
Moderators will NOT force draw or force cancel a bot game unless there is a bug with the above conditions.

You can also choose to make a new unranked gunboat game that humans can join, but will fill with bots if enough people do not join by the start date. These games can only be unranked gunboats, but otherwise can have any other normal game settings applied. You cannot choose countries for this mode. This is done by starting a new game like normal. Choosing classic as the variant, no press as the press type, and then you'll see a new checkbox called Fill Empty Spots with Bots. Check that box to enable this mode. These games need at least 2 humans to start.

Coming soon will be an option on all games (starting with gunboats but eventually rolling out to all games) called "Allow Bot CD Ordering". Which will allow a bot to submit orders for, but not takeover a position for someone in CD. So if someone uses all their excused missed turns, is forced into CD, and the next turn progresses without someone taking over, one of the bots will submit orders for that missing player to reduce the negative impact on the game until someone takes the position over. We expect this to be especially useful for live games. This phase is taking a lot more development to ensure it works correctly and only in games it should impact. So we expect to have this ready within 3 months.

To ensure that the server load is not overwhelming and to prevent a slew of unused/dead games, you are limited to 3 games with bots at a time. This limit does not include games that are a mix of 2+ humans and bots. Since you can always cancel/concede/draw bot games this should not prevent anyone from playing against the bots.

From a programming standpoint we cannot take suggestions on how to improve the bots play. You *will* run into situations where the bot's moves could have been better, you might have ideas on how the bot could be a better player, etc. We cannot accept any of those. The training of the bots is something done by the university partners and we do not have control over it. At a future point we might, and we do have some plans to help them improve the bots for 1 vs 1 variants, but I do not want anyone to get offended when we say we can't take your suggestions, it simply isn't possible.

From a going forward standpoint we expect to have additional long term features come out of the bot such has varied skill level bots, bots optimized for the 1v1 variants, and eventually inclusion of other variants. But these items are all a while off.

From a development standpoint I want to give a huge shout out to Philip who submitted the code to our git hub repo to create the API that allows the bot to interact with our site. Kestas personally helped me review the API code when parts ended up being out of my wheelhouse. Squigs44 has committed code to help with the bot integration. Bo_sox48, peterwiggin, and Zultar have all worked on refining the integration and testing. And the rest of the mods have helped play multiple bot games to help iron out various problems and testing the bot's skill.

We are extremely excited to be able to provide this to you. If you are interested in helping ensure we can continue offering the site for free in the future please consider donating to the site at https://www.webdiplomacy.net/donations.php

Thanks,
jmo1121109 (Lead Dev)
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TrPrado
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#3 Post by TrPrado » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:03 pm

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
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Tom Bombadil
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#4 Post by Tom Bombadil » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:06 pm

This is pretty amazing. I can only imagine the effort behind the scenes to make it happen
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#5 Post by The Ambassador » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:06 pm

And an interview with jmo and pw on the "Rise of the Bots "can be listened to at https://diplomacygames.com/rise-of-the-bots/
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#6 Post by bo_sox48 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:08 pm

Just so you are all aware, this is the coolest fucking thing that has ever happened on this site and it's not even close.
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zultar
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#7 Post by zultar » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 pm

Look at all this timing! Things becoming live, threads created, banner's up, and interview is on.

The bots have even updated jmo's software. God damn.
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#8 Post by goldfinger0303 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 pm

Lol, nice plug Amby. I'll be sure to listen to it!

Huge congratulations to jmo and team for having the vision and diligence to get this done
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#9 Post by Tom Bombadil » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:09 pm

The coordination between the mods posting threads and banners is nearly as remarkable as the bots.
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#10 Post by Squigs44 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:10 pm

Tom Bombadil wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:06 pm
This is pretty amazing. I can only imagine the effort behind the scenes to make it happen
Yes. Please give everyone that has a special icon and posts in this thread a +1 because chances are they helped with this.
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bo_sox48
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#11 Post by bo_sox48 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:14 pm

Tom Bombadil wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:06 pm
This is pretty amazing. I can only imagine the effort behind the scenes to make it happen
There's six figures worth of work that has gone into this. Maybe more.
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#12 Post by SpaceDip » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:36 pm

I just checked my calendar and today is not April 1st.

September 14th 2019 will be remembered for all eternity.
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#13 Post by BobMcBob » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:37 pm

Hooray! We finally got bots! This is easily the best thing that's happened to the site other than the time the site started existing. I'll definitely be tryng these out. A lot.
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#14 Post by jmo1121109 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:41 pm

And a big thank you to Kestas for helping us look into the site connectivity being a little slow due to all the people trying out the bots right now. :lol:
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#15 Post by Matticus13 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:50 pm

Arnold approves
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#16 Post by Magnetic24 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:54 pm

This is so exciting to unveil! Good luck to all of you in your bot games. Do not be the first one to be 'resigned' in one of them... use the pause button to your advantage. ;-)

Of course, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask us.
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#17 Post by Tom Bombadil » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:03 am

Also, I think while expressing our appreciation with +1s is warranted, we should consider DONATING to the site. This site is free, with zero ads and a small nucleus of people with specific knowledge doing a ton of work for our benefit. Let’s help them out if you can
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#18 Post by Restitution » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:40 am

Aw, man! I'm working on my own machine learning bot for Diplomacy, I thought I was going to be the first. Ah well.

Is there a link to their bot's code somewhere?
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#19 Post by kestasjk » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:09 am

Big thanks and congratulations to Philip Paquette and his supervisors and associates at University of Montreal!
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Re: AI bots on webDiplomacy: Skynet edition!

#20 Post by BobMcBob » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:11 am

The only annoying thing is that I can't play my game because the game processing has stopped. Still, as soon as this is fixed, I'm sure it will be a much better place for this change.
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