According to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has found a way to improve the performance of game-playing AI by enabling it to read the manual prior to play. According to RPS, the AI was able to improve its performance in Civ by reading the manual considerably. Here’s an excerpt from MIT’s web site:
"When the researchers augmented a machine-learning system so that it could use a player’s manual to guide the development of a game-playing strategy, its rate of victory jumped from 46 percent to 79 percent."
A 30 percent increase in performance is pretty impressive, as is the AI’s ability to translate the written instructions in the manual into actual gameplay. You can read an exhaustive report on this little experiment at MIT.