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Why is game theory important to AI?

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Game theory, developed by American mathematician John Nash, is essential to AI because it plays an underlying role in how these smart algorithms improve over time.

At its most basic, AI is about algorithms that are deployed to find solutions to problems. Game theory is about players in opposition trying to achieve specific goals. As most aspects of life are about competition, game theory has many meaningful real-world applications.

These problems tend to be dynamic. Some game theory problems are natural candidates for AI algorithms. So, whenever game theory is applied, multiple AI agents that interact with each other will only care about utility to itself.

Data scientists within this space should be aware of the following games:

  • Symmetric vs. asymmetric
  • Perfect vs. imperfect information
  • Cooperative vs. non-cooperative
  • Simultaneous vs. sequential
  • Zero-sum vs. non-zero-sum
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