The “inner circle” of Heroclix players have long been aware of the growing issue that is Heroclix artificial intelligence, and with nationwide stay-at-home orders giving developers more time to work on their creations, it seems like this problem is only going to get worse.
Ed Arnold-Berkovits says his latest I.S.A.A.C. (which stands for “I’m Seriously Artificial And Computerized”) model was ready to go for this summer’s Nationals at Origins Game Fair, but due to the pandemic, he now has more time to fix minor bugs within his “son’s” mainframe to ensure victory at the World Championship later this year.
“Dad doesn’t let me go outside unless I’m going to be coming back home with a trophy anyway, so quarantine doesn’t really bother me,” admitted Isaac in a Skype interview.
Rumors about Isaac being a robot have circulated around top tables ever since the 2018 glitch which caused him to repeat “stab, stab, stab!” at his opponents, but Arnold-Berkovits was able to excuse his “son’s” voice box error by attributing it to Isaac’s youthful sense of humor. Isaac has demonstrated a few instances of non-automated behavior since then, but Arnold-Berkovits is optimistic that with more time, he will be able to stop his creation from laughing, eating, sleeping and seeking companionship.
Lucky Dice founder Howard Brock thought his creation E.A.S.T.O.N. (“Easily Automatized Serious Tournament Opponent Neutralizer”) was finally upgraded to the point where it could get over the second place hump at a major constructed tournament, but when the A.I. was prematurely eliminated from Gongaii Cup, Brock reportedly sold his business in order to afford new malware. Most players know that Brock controversially sold the ROC to WizKids two years ago in order to pay for E.A.S.T.O.N. upgrades, so his latest financial move is sure to concern the businessman’s friends and family.
“Easton’s my best friend and I want what’s best for him, but even I worry that Howard is bankrupting himself trying to make my buddy perfect,” admitted fellow Heroclix robot Paris Gordon.
Will Gordon, the creator of P.A.R.I.S. (which stands for “Perfectly Adept at Rolling but Intelligence is Suspect”), gave his “son” a very simple and cost-effective design upon its initial creation—Gordon solely invested in technology which helped Paris roll the desired color on a 20-sided dice. While many questioned the A.I.’s actual playing ability, its basic skillset allowed it to easily win a championship using Felix Faust. Gordon dusts off his creation every once in a while and lets it play so others don’t accuse him of making a Heroclix automaton, but its diminished success has made the truth clear to the “inner circle.”
Gordon is now admitting that he’ll be following Brock and Arnold-Berkovits’ lead and using his time at home trying to make necessary changes to the P.A.R.I.S. operating system.
“People have forgotten Team Ragnarok is even a thing, but once I get my bot… I mean, my son… up and running again, we’ll get the respect we deserve,” Gordon stated in a recent Zoom call.
It seems the longer we stay in quarantine, the more time these A.I. developers will have to fine-tune their products, so we at ClixHole hope for a speedy end to the COVID-19 crisis.