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Don O'Brien

Don has been inventing games and puzzles for years. Every once in a while he comes up with something other people find interesting. A game he originally called Robot Rampage was published in Germany as "Crash" (http://www.franjos.de/spiele/crd.htm) and more recently as "Manoover" (http://www.gamepuzzles.com/abstract.htm#MV) in the US.

After becoming frustrated with computer games that had to cheat in order to be competitive, he wrote the shareware game "Cloak, Dagger and DNA," which used genetic algorithms to evolve computer opponents. The intent was that they would be able to play well against humans playing by the same rules, which was achieved. He wrote a short paper on how it works and somehow managed to get it published in the Feb/Mar 1996 issue of Game Developer Magazine. Every now and then he hears about a published paper that mentions it as an example of developing AI with genetic algorithms.

Other than working at Stanford and NASA Ames, he's burned through a number of hi-tech startups that didn't go anywhere.

Among other projects at Stanford, Don is working on a program that may eventually become something like a Visual Basic for creating dynamic web sites.