A behind-the-scenes look at a meeting held at Sony showed a new project in the works. Sony AI is working with PlayStation to create “Game AI Agents.” This is the next level beyond in-game enemies and pre-made opponents. This is more like Sony creating artificial gamers that can play with you or against you like they’re real people playing at home on their real PlayStation 5 consoles.
Per Sony’s documentation, Sony AI (started in 2020), will be “leveraging reinforcement learning” to create Game AI Agents. These agents “can be a player’s in-game opponent or collaboration partner.” This is an in-development sort of situation – meaning that, as far as we know, there are no AI gamer bots in PlayStation games as yet. They’re just a concept, a concept that is very much in the works for the future.
This isn’t a new concept, really. For example: the folks at PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) have been using bots for a while. They drop artificial intelligence-run players in the game that appear to act as standard, human-run players. Their aim appeared to be (and continues to appear to be) to make the game feel slightly easier for new players.
As shown in a patent from Sony via IGN, Sony has been working on an “Automated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Control Mode For Playing Specific Tasks During Gaming Applications.” This might be the same system spoken of in the documentation noted above, or it could be something slightly different.
Does the prospect of having access to AI partners and/or opponents in online video games on your PlayStation seem appealing to you? Would you be offended if you found out that the “people” you’re playing with and against in multiplayer games online NOW were actually just bots? Does your opponent need to be a human being in order for your game of choice to feel legit?