We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Action Selection?

By Geisha A. Legazpi
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Action selection is a process involving how a designed intelligent system will react next to a given problem. It is usually a field studied in psychology, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Action selection is synonymous to decision making and behavioral choice. The data gathered is researched and broken down in order to be able to adapt it to artificial systems like robotics, video games, and artificial intelligence programming.

Much of the data in the life sciences can be observed and experimented upon to evoke a variable response. All living creatures have their own instinctual reaction to food, predators, and mates. Creating a controlled environment where the studied animals are observed to always perform different solutions to different problems provides researchers and programmers with a basis for the advancement of their study. This in turn has led researchers and programmers in trying to recreate those instinctual responses in a controlled manner.

For researchers and programmers, the most common questions used in action selection are focused on what to do thereafter and what happens next. The responses in turn can be recycled for a new batch of experimental action selection. Prime examples of action selection can be found in games and artificial intelligence programming. In computer games, it can be found in First-Person Shooters (FPS) like Halo and Counter-Strike. Creatures, a pet-based game, uses an artificial intelligence engine that can make its own decisions by adapting to tasks.

What makes action selection a unique field is that there is always a strict guide to follow to have an acceptable level of data. The guide would always be based on a subject that is patterned off of a human or animal. For most, if not all researchers and programmers, a subject will always need to be placed in a location where the environment is unpredictable and is always changing. The subject will also need to react on time while performing a number of tasks. It must also interact with real live human beings in order to bring in a randomizing factor.

With those many random factors and a strict guideline to follow, research is never ending since there will always be a different set of circumstances for each experiment. One primary factor that makes researchers and programmers study this field intensively is response time. With each successful experiment where the subject has learned an action, a different avenue of action will come up. This in turn makes for a more complex subject when compared to a previous version.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By pastanaga — On Nov 14, 2014

@pleonasm - I think the problem is simply that we don't know how to build a brain that has the capacity and the flexibility to really be intelligent. At the moment, action selection is always going to be limited to the point where a human can see through it because our wetware is better than any software we're capable of creating.

By pleonasm — On Nov 13, 2014

@croydon - I think the most sophisticated artificial intelligence design goes into the enemies and backup characters in first-person shooter games these days. Action selection isn't something that game makers really want to make all that obvious, because the goal is to get the characters to seem as independent as possible. If you try to design a game where the independence of the characters is at the center of attention all the time, it's much more difficult to keep up the illusion.

That's why the closest you really get to that kind of game is usually based around characters that are supposed to be closer to animal, rather than human, intelligence.

By croydon — On Nov 13, 2014

I really loved the game Creatures when I was a teenager and I remember that I really bought into the idea that the simulation was a kind of artificial life. You could only run one game at a time and if you started a new one, it would erase the old one. My sister decided she wanted to play my game and started a new one, which "killed" all my little creatures. I didn't talk to her for weeks, because I felt like she had actually murdered them.

I don't think that the artificial intelligence engine on that game was actually that sophisticated but it certainly had me fooled. I'd be interested to see what they can come up with these days.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.