Artificial Intelligence In Video Games
Artificial Intelligence Application
An analysis by Forbes projected that revenue from artificial intelligence will increase from $1.62 billion in 2018 to $31.2 billion in 2025. Dr. Daniel Jiang, an assistant professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, said: “It is exciting to see the tremendous successes and progress made in recent years. To continue this trend, we are looking to develop more sophisticated methods for algorithms to learn strategies for optimal decision making.”
In the past few years, the gaming industry has gone through a series of transformations and video games have played a key role in AI research, by posing interesting challenges to tackle. But it is not just AI progressed thanks to games, the gaming industry too has profited from the integration of AI. In fact, AI has improved games on numerous fronts– from game design, development to functionality and even how it is played. DeepMind’s AlphaGo software, better known for defeating reigning Go champion was one of the best landmarks for AI in the gaming industry.
The video gaming industry and video games allow testing environments for complex decision making without the risk of an immature A.I. being fully in charge and are therefore a safe way to explore the mistakes of an algorithm.
Jiang added: “Video game designers aren’t building games with the goal to test models or simulations. They’re often designing games with a two-fold mission: to create environments that mimic the real world and to challenge players to make difficult decisions. These goals happen to align with what we are looking for as well. Also, games are much faster. In a few hours of real time, we can evaluate the results of hundreds of thousands of gameplay decisions.”
If you look at today’s Artificial Intelligence application in the gaming industry, you will note that AI is mainly used in two areas: Saving the budget on the game design and upgrade the in-game experience.
Artificial intelligence in video games is mostly used to establish the behavior of non-player characters (NPCs) in video games. The application of the term “artificial intelligence” might be a misnomer, as many games don’t use true AI approaches. Game developers are usually not AI analysts, and many games use simple predetermined patterns.
A lot of AI in video game development goes toward defining the way a computer opponent behaves. Behavior can range from rather basic patterns in action games all the way to chess programs that can surpass champion human players.
Many early video games like Pong (1972) only enabled human opponents to face each other. Though computer-controlled challengers existed from the very beginning in Computer Space (1971 ).
While human challengers can obviously still be a lot of fun to play against, the video game industry really took off when microprocessors allowed users to square off against more cutting edge and challenging computer challengers.
Space Invaders (1978) provided an early example of the challenges that computer-controlled opponents could bring to a video game. As the player shot down the aliens, the game speed up considerably with fewer opponents. This was a side effect of the limitations of the hardware at the time, but Tomohiro Nishikado, the inventor of the game for Taito, left it in because it made the gameplay so interesting.
Even while AI researchers dispute whether AI in games is the real thing, game developers have used techniques from AI research to build tougher opponents. They can examine player actions and change their reactions to make the game tougher using emergent behavior.
Strategies used in AI game programming include decision trees and pathfinding. Some AI opponents in first-person shooter games can listen for player activities, look for footprints or even take cover when a human opponent fires on them.