How AI Transforms Video Games
Computer games today require the sort of resources typically demanded by a Hollywood blockbuster, with carefully crafted characters, storyline, visual effects and soundtrack. However, the gameplay can become a little boring over time if the non-player characters (NPCs) repeat the same scripted responses every time they are nudged or cajoled. Perhaps new developments in AI will help deliver exciting new experiences for gamers?
The advancements in the area of AI technology have already displayed their prowess, taking on the best players of board games from across the world. Google’s DeepMind managed to beat Lee Sedol at Go, a game played on a 19×19 board, leveraging an AI that had learned from both human and computer players. And, not too long ago, Arago’s HIRO™ AI managed to beat human players at Freeciv, a free civilization building simulation based upon the popular Sid Meier’s Civilization series of games. As a strategy-based game with innumerable permutations of game play, Freeciv offered an exponential increase in available moves when compared to Go, although the AI received less training from a smaller pool of data.
Rather than using games to train AI, one could use the technology in the engine behind the game itself. For example, some work has already been undertaken to enable NPCs to develop their own character and even interact with one another in the background of the game. In one experiment, an NPC doctor was unexpectedly abrupt in a conversation with a human player. Upon analyzing what the doctor had learned during the game, it turned out that he had learned about the rudeness of the human player and as a result decided to treat him accordingly.
This opens up a complete different dimension in gameplay as NPCs actively cooperate to challenge the human player while constantly adjusting their behavior to the environment. With the integration of AI, turning on your games console will from now on always deliver a completely different and unique gaming experience .