Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 109 – Interview with Tejas Patel from DARPA

Venue: Leonard’s, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner: Ballistic IPA in Brisbane

Amby:  Parker Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from the Coonawarra in Victoria

The guys interview Tejas Patel, who is DARPA’s the project lead for SHADE: an AI research initiative using Diplomacy to better understand the nuance of communication intent behind actions. Plus the guys games and how does a famous UK Diplomacy player get himself a novice rank in Australia’s Diplomacy association.

Kaner & Amby - DARPA styleIntro

  • The guys introduce the show, the venue and their drinks (0 mins 15 secs)
  • They discuss getting how to get a French fleet into Tunis. Hint hint, they’re wrong! (Spring 1901 MAR-GOL, PAR-MAR, NAP-TYR; Fall 1901 Convoy MAR-TUN (2 hrs 45 mins)

Interview with Tejas Patel from DARPA

  • The guys introduce their thoughts on the interview with Tejas Patel from DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Project Agency – and why our podcast wanted to talk to him (5 mins 35 secs)
  • The interview begins with Amby asking Tejas why DARPA chose Diplomacy for the SHADE project and what the project is about (9 mins 10 secs)
  • Amby asks how Tejas first discovered Diplomacy and when he realised Diplomacy could be used for what DARPA wanted to research (13 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks how communication takes place in the game and how AI is used (17 mins 45 secs)
  • Amby reflects on the way communication is done and what he initially thought the research project was doing with communication and action taking. He asks why structured data communication rather than natural language communication was chosen for the research (20 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby asks about the project management methodology approach being used in the research project (24 mins)
  • Amby enquires whether the Diplomacy community may be engaged to help the project (26 mins)
  • He goes onto ask about how the project team’s experience with Diplomacy (28 mins)
  • They discuss whether the Potomac Tea and Knife Society have had any engagement with the project (30 mins)
  • They go onto talking about the desired project goals (31 mins)
  • Amby asks how the project could inform policy making and its potential future use from a military perspective. Tejas responds about transparency and the opensource nature of the project  (34 mins 30 secs)
  • Kaner asks what does SHADE stand for. They go onto discuss other DARPA acronym project names (40 mins 15 secs)
  • Tejas asks how the guys found out about SHADE, Amby mentions the Diplomacy/Shade article in Military + Aerospace Electronics magazine (42 mins)
  • Amby asks how Tejas got employed by DARPA (44 mins 15 secs)
  • Amby asks what are Tejas’ favorite countries to play (45 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner enquires about the timelines for the project and the robot AI (46 mins 45 secs)
  • Tejas says if you want to know more about DARPA to visit their website before the interview wraps up (49 mins 30 secs)
  • The guys return and give their thoughts on the interview with Tejas (50 mins)

Around the grounds

  • Kaner asks Amby about his current games, spending his some talking about a standard Classic game he’s bought into as Turkey (1 hr 4 mins 30 secs)
  • They move onto a Known World 901 game of Kaner’s that just finished where he was part of the draw, despite not being a strong power. He explains he got to that point (1 hr 15 mins 30 secs)
  • Amby lets Kaner know the DAANZ (Diplomacy Association of Australia and New Zealand) master points have just been updated (1 hr 17 mins 30 secs)
  • They discuss how Markus Zijlstra/CaptainMeme/DiploStrats managed to get in the DAANZ rankings as a novice player. Kaner goes onto discuss how Markus is interested in the next Bourse game, explaining how the Bourse game got unexpectedly wrapped up, with Amby being declared the Bourse winner (1 hr 23 mins)
  • As a large group moved into where the guys were sitting, with all the extra noise they wrap up the show (1 hr 28 mins 30 secs)


Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. And don’t forget if you want to help pay off the audio equipment… or get the guys more drunk, you can also donate at Patreon, plus you get extra podcast episodes!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone.

Thanks as always to Dr Dan aka “The General” for his rockin’ intro tune.

1 thought on “Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 109 – Interview with Tejas Patel from DARPA”

  1. Fun fact, I got eliminated very early in the first round of that Australian tournament and spent the rest of that round beating all of Andrew Goff’s Mario Kart time trial records.

    I’m not sure he ever got them back, I’m very good at Mario Kart (apparently better than I was at surviving as Austria, anyway!)

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