Video games are more and more interesting because the environment and characters can adapt to a change in the situation.
This is possible due to the use of AI algorithms that help generate intelligent, responsive behavior that molds on your reactions as a player. In most cases, artificial intelligence is used to make NPCs (non-player characters) easier to interact with.
This aspect humanizes the game and makes it look more like a virtual world than the cold recording of a hologram delivering the same message over and over.
But How Does AI Work When Combined with Video Games?
Put plainly, AI uses neural networks to process and understand big data sets. As a result, it can find patterns and functions we can’t see due to the massive amount of information.
Furthermore, AI also learns to predict future patterns and can determine a change in behavior when certain parameters are met.
But the use of AI in computer games is not a novelty! In fact, the gaming environment was an area of research ever since the first steps towards the idea of artificial intelligence. As such, games like Nim, checkers, or chess took advantage of smart algorithms to beat human players.
Why is AI Important in Games?
Before AI, games of logic used hard-coded IF statements to allow the computer to go through all the stages (like you can see in life the game).
However, this is predictable behavior and, the more complex the game, the more lines of code the computer would have to process. This would lead to lags and slow reaction from the game environment, rendering the experience dull and unsatisfactory.
AI and Games Today
There are voices that claim video games don’t use real AI techniques, but rather predetermined patterns.
Given that game developers are not AI researchers, this may be true. However, organizations like OpenAI are highly interested in using the gaming environment for testing various algorithms.
Nowadays, AI is used to make tremendous improvements to the field of robotics, but the software is still limited. Since it’s rather unsafe to test algorithms on real machines, the gaming environment became the safest world to train and test AI algorithms in a safe manner.
As a result, the world of virtual entertainment has gotten bigger and a lot more interesting in the last decade.
We now have highly-responsive first-shooter games that don’t require advanced computers (check out krunker.io) but offer amazingly realistic situations. We also have impressive open worlds that allow for endless exploration and creativity.
Due to artificial intelligence algorithms, we now have opponents who can listen to your movements, learn from your behavior and take cover when you shoot at them. This makes a first-person shooter game more entertaining and challenging.
Not to mention that board games have become a lot more challenging with the use of AI! Overall, the gaming world is a better place due to the use of AI!
What Should We Expect in The Future?
The use of AI in video games will move from creating more powerful NPCs and will get more into creating more interesting and immersing virtual experiences for players.
With the rise of VR and AR, the boundary between virtual and real get blurred, and we’ll probably end up surrounded by smart technology, designed to help us live better.
The best example of such a game is the famous Pokémon Go, that proved we can combine the real world and AI technology in a positive manner. In conclusion, we can only expect to see more such games.
However, before the gaming world can advance any further, we first have to embrace the idea of a world where technology is shaping our lives.