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Prof. Peter Cowling

Queen Mary University of London

iGGi Director


Peter Cowling has led teams that have won £45 million for research into games and digital creativity. After decades of experience in novel models and algorithms for AI decision-making, his research is now targeted on finding and promoting promising research directions in AI, games and digital creative technology, to benefit people and wider society. Playful ideas, curiosity and games have a central role!

As Principal Investigator, he led the teams which won the grants for IGGI (2014 and 2019) and Digital Creativity Labs (2015). He is a member of the Programme Advisory Board which informs strategy in the Digital Economy area of UK research council funding. He has sat on several research council grant funding prioritisation panels, chairing two. He has presented ideas for the use of games as a tool to influence and understand the human condition at a number of venues, including TEDx and 10 Downing Street.

He has published over 100 papers, winning 2 best paper awards at AIIDE. His research technology has over 5 million installs in commercial games – he was invited to talk at GDC about that.

He would be interested to supervise students whose research uses games as a tool to gather opinion or promote understanding: to identify research directions and harness the future potential of games, creativity and AI to benefit people and society. He is particularly interested in how games and other curious, creative things can help us to understand a world of complex interacting agents, each living a world created by their own thought (!).

Research themes:

  • Research visions for games and AI

  • Game design/development to influence, inform and understand people and society

  • Game AI


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