The point of playing a video game is to play it, but Sony has come up with an alternative. The company has patented a technology that trains an AI in your playstyle and lets it take over if you need a little help. So, your Sony AI could play the game in your absence to complete tasks and interact with other AIs in the game. At a certain point, do the machines even need us anymore?
According to the patent, the AI profile would start with a basic set of behaviors, but it will change its gameplay approach over time. The core technology in Sony’s AI control mode is a neural network, and a system like that needs to be trained. The training in this case is just watching you play the game. Eventually, Sony believes it will be possible to get the AI to play the game in the same style you would.
Sony proposes numerous different applications of this technology, which is common for these broad technical patents. For example, the player bot could take over if you’re busy, perhaps whenever you set the controller down without pausing. The patent also covers a system that could offer to take over when the player is having a tough time overcoming an obstacle. Although, Sony might have to contend with Nintendo’s prior art here — several Mario games have similar features without the fancy machine learning.
Sony’s patent includes a feature that would mark AI-completed tasks as such. So, the player could go back later and play those parts of the game themselves to get any achievements or items not awarded to the AI player.
It’s easy to look at this proposed technology as an AI snake eating its own tail. Are we just one step away from making games for AIs to play while humans watch? On the other hand, not everyone can set aside a big block of time to play games uninterrupted. And when playing online, you might not have the option of pausing when you need to answer the phone or see if the kids have done something that warrants a trip to the ER. At times like that, you might value an AI that can take over for a few minutes.
t could also be a boon for players who have accessibility needs. Someone might be able to play 90 percent of a game, but the AI could handle that last 10 percent, allowing them to play the full game. If video games are art, shouldn’t everyone be able to experience them?
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