when to use AI, when not

I just went through the Behavior Tree Quick Start guide and it’s working fine with my own mesh/simple animation blueprint.
I made a state machine that is just from a 1D blendspace… idle, walking, walking fast based on a speed variable.

I don’t understand how the behavior tree knows when to set the speed full and when 0 (idle) it just seems to work…my character is chasing after me and stops when she finds me.

but my real question is…i guess I am trying to understand how all this extra stuff (blackboard, behavior tree, ai blueprint, etc) is beneficial.

To learn more about AI I want to make something where an array of 7 randomly generated things (thing[x])(pulled from an array of say, 50 actors, piece[x]) fall from the sky. 5 characters pick up the thing in the array that corresponds to their array number (i.e. thing[2] is picked up by character[2], etc)

Then whatever thing[2] is, say piece[24], the character[2] would play out an animation from a blendspace. I was thinking that piece[24] could put them in the range of 20-30 in a blendspace, if it was piece[25] it would be 31-40 in the blendspace, etc…then after say 10 seconds, the character array would go back to their idle animation in their idle target point in the level.

Would I need to set up all the AI stuff for this? Couldn’t I just use getWorldLocation and stuff to have the characters walk toward the pieces? And set target points and have them walk back to those when they are idle?
And if I wouldn’t need AI for something like this…when would you need it? It seems so complicated for something not so complicated…or maybe it is way more complicated than I think.

Anyway…sorry for the long question. Just trying to figure this stuff out and it’s super complex! Thanks so much for any guidance!

Definition of A.I a little differents on situation.An entity that tries to destroy humanity with very smart moves is an A.I,an entity that believes that only way to protect humanity is destroy humanity is an A.I,an entity that chases you around is an A.I too.

For more clear definition check:

For games,it’s a just a piece (very long and complicated in some games) of code that executes commands/acts on certain parameters.

Let’s get to your questions:
Yes you need learn blackboards,behaviour trees etc to fully utilize what U.E offers,and create a competent A.I.

I don’t know about blend spaces but I guess you trying to play different animations when your A.I picks different things.Like if it picks [1] he dances with joy,if it picks [2] it cries.Yes this can be achieved.

Yes,you can just use getworldlocation and make your A.I move towards to item,then make it check if that item will make it happy and then if yes it can pick up and dance.

A.I is not a super secret editor window that runs on supercomputers and Assembly language.Getworldlocation and other stuff can be considered an A.I.

These are my humble opinions as an amateurish hobbyist who likes messing with U.E.I’m not an expert,and this is what I understood so far.

Fear not to watch more tutorials,it’s not that hard to grip.