It’s likely no one on earth has a better handle on AI’s evolution than gamers.
Because gaming is such a rich field of data and display, AI developers can follow a linear route towards truly intelligent AI as we imagine it to become in the future.
“Making games more real” is a very broad aspiration, and therein lies a world of development for AI, as games have so many of the essential ingredients for any learning intelligence to call upon to grow its mental (or computational!) faculties.
How fast paced is the digital age?
Well, there have been some truly next-level recent innovations in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), as well as advances in 3D visualization abilities in games. These developments were unimaginable even 10 years ago; and again, gamers – more than anyone – can attest to just how rapid tech evolution can be in the modern era. Modern games that incorporate AI are more visually appealing, intelligent, and engaging. It’s true to say that the more real a game is, the greater its appeal.
Gamers gravitate towards the line between virtual and real, hoping to cross it, suffuse it, or simply do away with it once and for all.
That statement is more real and imminent than most could believe. However, it helps to look at the maintenance fraternity to catch a glimpse of tech’s evolution. If you ask any reputable IT concern like Computers In The City what they encounter in terms of general support tasks, AI is right there, already embedded in a variety of humble yet progressive apps alive in the modern workplace.
Indeed, IT support and gamers are probably the two fraternities most aware of and involved with AI’s current advancement. No doubt NASA and other hi-tech concerns are having their own experience of AI – and certainly have their own designs for it – but in gaming and general daily commercial computing, we gain our most accurate view of AI’s emerging role today.
AI’s gaming checklist 2021
AI makes games more real
The first way AI is raising the bar in gaming is also the most important for the gaming fraternity: AI makes games more real.
The introduction of an intelligence other than the player’s results in a more intuitive and, ultimately, real experience of the virtual. This is an important primer, because many games are likely to be full-immersion experiences before long – and that would be the closest gamers have ever come to eliminating the line between the virtual and reality.
AI is the technology driving that goal, although AR, VR, and even holographic technologies all contribute to it, or aspire to. AI is the lynchpin, however – the one addition that translates a game most successfully into reality. Without it, games will remain static, no matter the large menu of available options on all aspects of the average game.
However, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between detail and intelligence.
Details are finite, when referring to the depth or design extent of a game.
In comparison, AI can allow a game to evolve in the classic sense, beyond its scripted performance options, and that’s remarkable. AI-powered games can intuit the player’s tendencies and extrapolate that into understanding their next move. It won’t always be right, but when it isn’t, it will have a Plan B, too.
In short, a whole new level of competition and engagement awaits the diehard gamer. Illustration was always paramount, but modern gamers－capably aided by AI’s emergent influence－are looking forward to reality, not merely great graphics.
AI makes games smarter
Secondly, AI makes games smarter.
That might sound like the first point stated differently, but it’s more than that. Competitive smart is one thing, but overall smart is another.
Overall smart is a developer boon, as AI’s learning algorithms allow a huge swathe of the gaming fraternity to experience console-level engagement. That sub-fraternity is, of course, the mobile gaming fraternity, and – while still accommodating power limits – there’s been a huge uptick in the quality of visual appearance and performance of mobile games.
Admittedly, the processing power of cell phones isn’t that of their desktop counterparts, and the absence of a console remains a fundamental difference between the two options. That said, mobile gaming has been noticeably improved by AI, and that stream is likely to become a torrent as the cloud evolves, too.
AI makes games more intuitive
Thirdly, AI is making games more intuitive than they ever have been.
The difference between a detailed build and an intelligent one has been outlined above, but “intuitive” here refers to the overall experience of a game.
Although many gamers would rate artificial intelligence as a more valuable input into their day than the average human version (!), nonetheless modern games can have a ‘human engagement feel’－as if you’re playing with another human, one with wit and intelligence – and often with an unfortunate ability to blow you away on the battlefield. It’s an inevitable result of in-game characters learning from their own behaviors, and evolving intuition in response to a growing understanding of their performance.
AI makes games more vivid and life-like
Rolling right on from that human feel, comes a more vivid and visually real experience.
Again, thanks to AI, modern gaming approaches the line between virtual and real. Very soon, the experience of a game of football with your mates and an hour spent gaming will be eerily similar. It’s hard to quantify – and even harder to describe – but the introduction of intelligence other than a player’s own into the realm of gaming has potentially boundless potential.
The fifth reality－game development
There’s a hidden pot brewing, too, and that’s the transformation of developer skills to incorporate AI into the games they build.
This is one that gamers don’t see, although they experience it in play. It’s an evolution of gaming upon which all others rest – at least until intelligent games start building their successors themselves. Developers have incorporated new skills around AI’s application, and taken to creating AI-based player profiles in the games they’re building.
Soon, thrashing the virtual competition might not be so easy! Developers incorporate varying styles of play and trademark moves into the virtual players they build to emulate a room full of humans more accurately.
The days of idle gaming are gone, and we’re all the better for it. Today’s games are already significantly more challenging and interactive than a mere 10 years ago.
It’s fair to suppose that the introduction of AI into gaming will demand a higher level of performance from players, although developers will stop short of building virtual players who habitually thrash all comers－they still want people to play the game, after all, and therefore have to retain difficulty management or level of play as player-controlled options. The whole idea of AI in gaming is to enhance the user experience, not eclipse the human participants.
AI’s impact on gaming continues to evolve
In short, AI represents an opportunity to introduce far more realistic experiences that contain far more human elements than in earlier game options.
It’s already happening, and the response is unanimously receptive. To whatever extent AI can enhance the gaming experience, is the extent to which it will find application in gaming overall.
Looking at some modern technologies other than AI – which are also potential inputs into game development – game visuals are set to jump up several levels, while the experience of characters who evolve and generate their own story lines will bump user enjoyment up several levels, too.
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