Artificial Intelligence in Games News – Week 14
Welcome to the weekly roundup, where we draw your attention to everything newsworthy in artificial intelligence in games! If you’ve found or shared something that you think belongs here, contact us on Twitter! Last week, there was the game with thousands of AI agents and GTA training self-driving cars. You can find that here.
Chatbots In Messenger Games
A company called Blackstorm Labs has been working with Facebook recently to add some innovative AI features to it’s Everwing title. Facebook recently enabled lots of new Messenger features for game devs that have made chatbots more accessible. In Everwing, bots can communicate to players outside of the game using Messenger. This technology can be used for everything, from controlling mechanics, managing side quests and narrating gameplay. Although still a relatively new platform, where Facebook games go from here will be something to look out for.
Artificial Intelligence Animation
Two teams based in the UK and US have joined forces to apply neural networks to animation. The result is an incredible demo of a character realistically walking across terrains of differing elevations. The network was trained by analysing a huge source of motion capture data. High quality animation can be achieved this way in a short amount of time. This would greatly cut development times by revolutionising how animation is created in the game industry, saving money too!
Voice Mimicking Artificial Intelligence
In perhaps the most amazing use of AI we’ve seen in recent weeks, there is now an AI that can mimic your voice using just a 60 second recording. The AI deconstructs the vocal tones in your voice to recreate how you sound whilst somebody provides it with input for what to say. The geniuses behind the software are Canadian startup Lyrebird. What they’ve created sounds like something right from science fiction, and how it will be used is fascinating. Whilst it could be used to add realistic sounding characters to your game, it could also be used to phone your loved ones and unleash havoc. How can we ensure the access to these technologies is regulated effectively?
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney On Game Artificial Intelligence
In an interesting interview this week, Tim Sweeney the CEO of Epic spoke about AI and the metaverse. He talks about how game AI is still very much in the dark ages because it isn’t a priority right now. As we’ve mentioned in the past this is largely due to game AI not needing to be complex in order to create an enjoyable playing experience. At some point he believes that deep learning will become more common in games, and genres such as RPG’s will be revolutionised. Interactions with NPCs will be especially interesting as they start acting more human-like. He then goes on to talk about the metaverse, the idea of having a bunch of players in an immersive social experience. As tech improves, all of this should become a lot more possible.
Hassabis On Chess
The head of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis, posted an article with Nature this week analysing the chess great Kasparovs memoir Deep Thinking. In particular he relates back to the match between Kasparov and Deep Blue that took place almost 20 years ago. Since then AI has changed significantly and Hassabis has been at the forefront of it. Deep Blue as Hassabis mentions was hardcoded and had no generability about it. It epitomises AI at the time which could crunch numbers faster than any human but couldn’t complete common sense problems. An interesting development from the match is that the number of people playing chess has actually risen since the game has been conquered. This eliminates the belief that if AI can master games, does that make them less interesting? This is certainly an interesting read for all of you wanting to learn more about the history of AI.
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