How AI will completely change video games

How AI will completely change video games


Whether you know it or not, you use artificial intelligence all the time. Maybe you own a smart speaker or you’ve seen a self-driving car or you’ve used Google Photos to search for images of your cat. Now, there’s also a good chance you’ve played a video game that happens to have some AI in it, like God of War or Red Dead Redemption 2. What may surprise you is that those two types of AI are not the same thing. The AI in digital systems
and autonomous vehicles is self-learning and really fast, but it’s also really unpredictable. Yet these two worlds are fast colliding, and once game developers
have the right tools and the freedom to make
games that really push the limits of AI, the results are going to be the stuff of science fiction. (electronic music) Over the years, AI has become really good at playing certain games. Try beating your computer at chess on the hardest difficulty.
It’s pretty much impossible. Or even if you’re a pro StarCraft player, DeepMind software can now crush you. I’m here, in the shadows. But the AI inside of a video game, that’s basically been building off the same core set of
principles for decades. Take, for instance, a
classic game like Pac-Man. At different points, the ghosts evaluate where you are in the map and
where you might be going, and then they either chase
you, or they run away from you. It’s not exactly groundbreaking AI, but it is video game AI nonetheless. And what’s remarkable is that the AI you encounter in games today hasn’t really changed that much over the years. Two of the core components
of commercial game AI are pathfinding and finite state machines. Julian Togelius is a
professor of computer science at NYU who spent years
studying the intersection of gaming and artificial intelligence. He walked us through the basic toolkit that underpins a ton of video game AI. Pathfinding is how to get from point A to point B in a simple way, and it’s used in all games all the time. Finite state machine is
a construct where an NPC can be in different states
and move between them. Real AI in commercial games
is more complex than that, but those are some of
the founding principles. So using these basics, developers have created ever-more realistic
game worlds and characters, but that software is
not exactly intelligent. That’s because game developers have yet to really utilize key
advancements in the field of artificial intelligence
research, namely deep learning. Through the deep learning revolution, researchers at universities
and tech companies have made astounding
progress at giving a machine the means to improve itself over time. But there’s a reason game developers aren’t using that type
of AI to develop games. Typically, when you design a game, you want to know what the
player will experience. And for that, if you go
in to evolve any AI there, you want the AI to be predictable. Now, if you just went and
tossed in a neural network that was constantly adapting and learning from all the feedback it got from you, there’s a very good chance something unexpected might happen,
and it could break the game. And that’s a problem for a designer. Imagine if every single character in Red Dead Redemption
remembered all of your crimes, and you couldn’t even play anymore because everyone just
took you down on sight. I’ll put your brains all over you. The way designers think today when they’re designing games,
they want predictability. And therefore, they want the relatively anemic AI we have in games today. What’s more useful for game makers is taking those traditional approaches, and trying them at unprecedented scales. If you play Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ve probably seen this clip. A player firing a warning shot, which shoots a bird right out of the sky. What makes it so interesting is that it isn’t a planned part of the
game. It’s completely random. What? The individual systems
here, the way that bullets move through the sky, and where birds are programmed to fly around, those are not wildly different than the pathfinding Pac-Man ghosts. The difference in a game
like Red Dead Redemption is that all of its many, many systems can overlap and run into one another. The individual pieces aren’t intelligent, but when they come
together, they trick you into thinking they are. Haven’t you brought
enough misery upon us? Another game that’s great at this is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s a cohesive world where a
few simple programming rules around weather, gravity, and even heat create endlessly surprising moments. You can use a makeshift
torch to bake an apple while it’s still on a
tree, or drop a bunch of these weird balloon things on a boat, and it’ll soar into the sky. Now, is this really AI? Well, that kind of depends on who you ask. Some argue it’s just automation
or emergent gameplay because these systems
aren’t intelligent, per se. While others say game AI is less about trying to pass off a machine as a human, and more about creating a
sense of wonder and mystery that makes the game feel real. So what would honest to goodness AI-powered video games actually look like? Well, in the Spike Jonze movie Her, creator David O’Reilly
conceived of a video game in which a foul-mouthed character could react dynamically to
you and your personality. It could even taunt and bully
you into continuing to play. Come on, follow me. (beep) Games like this may seem far
off, but we’re getting there. That’s because cutting-edge AI research is finally bleeding over
into game development. Today, researchers are
using the kind of AI that can actually learn
to design entire games, using a technique known
as procedural generation. It was popularized most recently by the indie game No Man’s Sky, but now, AI researchers are using the same technique to create software that can design a game
entirely from scratch. So you can say that not
only do I want to generate a landscape, but I want
to generate a landscape where I know there will be choke points, where we can hide my troops behind, or I know there will be
places to have a castle on, and with no deep valleys
you can fall into. Building off that, game developers could create games that
don’t just generate levels all on their own, but also
learn what you like as a player. In the longer-term
future, we’re going to see game directors that
learn to adapt the game as you are playing it, and
learn to become game masters that play the player as
the player plays the game. There are even ways that AI right now can be used to create the art for games. Take a look at Nvidia’s research generating game graphics
using deep learning. What you’re seeing is not real, an AI used a game engine
and some video footage to teach itself how to generate
an imaginary city block. One that you could see in a game. The same technique can even create all new, never-before-seen faces, ones that look indistinguishable
from real human beings. Of course, that doesn’t stop with faces. You could do mountains,
dogs, space ships, whatever. But the Holy Grail of AI in games would be a true self-learning character that is complex and relatable, and it has a realistic persona
that could build you up. Do you know how to get out of here? Or tear you down. (bleeping) We’re probably not going
to have game characters that sophisticated for a long time. In the short term, big game companies will likely use AI for testing games and boring stuff like analytics. But AI is really tricky, and it requires a ton of tinkering and
training. That’s time and money that game developers don’t always have. So Julian doesn’t see the usual suspects jumping on actual AI
powered games anytime soon. We need to take the AI capability, and think about how can we
design a game around that? And I don’t think that’s going to happen from the big AI companies. It’s too risky. Instead, it might take smaller,
scrappier gaming companies to lean into AI’s quirks
and make something unexpected and strange
that feels entirely new. So if something unexpected
or weird happened to you while you were playing
Red Dead Redemption 2, or even the new Zelda, describe
it in the comments below. And if you have one, leave us a link, too. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “How AI will completely change video games”

  1. Guys. Not everything digital is AI.
    That stuff in Zelda is just game physics.
    For example the apple: that's just a of clause.
    If heat<100: replace with baked apple.
    Same goes for the ballons: if the balloons can generate enough pull to pull up the boat, the boat will fly.
    It's literally just physics programmed into a game. It has nothing to do with AI.

  2. uhoooo,
    You all should be watching "Sword Art Online: Alicization"

    this has a complete and creative visualization this said topic.
    thank me later.

  3. When till we get the option to have an AI beat a game an AI generated game just to get all the achievements for us?
    (And then lay a $59.99 premium)

  4. If you kill an AI character, isn’t it technically murder because as far as it knows, It’s a sentient being.

  5. "An american nuclear warhead has been hacked and launched, targeting russia due to a video game A. I. that has been realeased on the internet by a gamer. " ….coming soon.

  6. Characters, levels, and “RNGs” that adapt over time is definitely an untapped area for indie devs to outshine and shake up the industry.

  7. Soon the AI games will make viruses and take over our computer and then all the computers and through that the whole world and then satellites and who knows what else

  8. @The Verge || Wrong, the procedural generation was NOT made popular by No Man's Sky, it was made popular by MINECRAFT who made a big deal about their "infinite worlds"

  9. Nice video, but maybe you should have mentioned Unity and ML Agents. The stuff that Danny Lange is bringing on there is simply amazing and groundbreaking.

  10. Me : playing StarCraft 2 'started building some units'
    AI : 'with large army near my base that I can't see ' I am here in the shadows

  11. Anyone remember "black and white" by Peter Molyneux? The guys behind Google deep mind were apparently the same ones building that game's AI. It had all kinds of wacky emergent behavior. Lots of stories about how the big avatars started to learn and do wacky stuff because it literally learned how on its own, even without the human player involved.

  12. As someone who's relatively attentive to this frontier in my own life, I found this video to be mind-bendingly anemic and unintelligent. It kept promising to say something interesting and then reporting on developments that were over five years old

  13. You lost me at "How AI will". AI enthusiasts always promise "stuff of science fiction" for "soon" but they're really short on things that "AI" actually does well today.

  14. Games would be a lot more interesting if game developers weren't so afraid of unexpected things happening in their games.

  15. I have a story about AI and Machine Learning from the developers at Sony's Bend Studio. They've never talked about it to journalists, I merely heard it because I'm a family friend of the lead developer. This may or may not be true, but I heard during their development for Day's Gone, the AI NPCs were learning how to do things they were not programmed to be able to do. They were literally scaling walls and entering areas that they should have been incapable of traversing. It actually freaked the team out. It's almost as if the characters were programming themselves.

    I can imagine in the future how this could happen in real time after market., creating completely unique experiences per player. Perhaps singularity will even originate from within a game.

  16. So the future where a world like Aincrad and ALO, where the quests are infinitely, endlessly generated and managed by the world game system itself, is maybe not that far ahead

    Ps: oh but it seems we still need to wait quiet a long time for yui to be created

  17. They at least could make partially neural network trained AI for bots to teach them to avoid going into walls and obvious stupid things. Lets be honest, single player games are lacking AI that could show some common sence and could surprise a player.

  18. Wow imagine Rockstar using AI to map cities like Chicago or Miami streets to make gta 6 and we get an almost realistic map of vice city or Las Venturas or even San ferrio. My God… I'm super psyched for that. I hope one day they use it to make a remake of True crime streets of L.A. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE FUTURE OF OPEN WORLD GAMES WITH HUGE MAPS.

  19. I want a deep learning AI control enemies in some games. Fighting against an enemy who has a predictable pattern gets boring too soon.

  20. It will eventually make them exactly like reality. I've watched the whole video and now even our reality seems very suspicious.

  21. I want see a game in you must cooperate with a intelligent ia to win together
    That could be great I think

  22. I don't know what you mean when you compare the AI of NPCs to AI in terms of neural networks. The NPCs are hardcoded to do things written by the developer so it isn't intelligent as it does not learn its just a computer that takes input and spits out an output. AI is when the developer creates a type of network which lets the computer code itself, which creates an improving computer at whatever task. It can improve so much that its strategies are beyond human comprehension due to its networks. I also have no idea how the randomness of birds getting shot has anything to do with AI since that's just a physics system. Who in the world said AI is about making games real, sure that's how it can be used but that's not what AI really is.

  23. Ai is what you call a non human that is a program. So vaan balthier and Fran were all AI programs? Hmmmm

  24. if you see anime sword art online new season, you can see in that anime, they building a full world that can simulate real world, its mean, they took ai and they generate world its self, with people, rules, make their existence real…

  25. This is So Wrong. We Already have better than the best AI you could invent – it's called Multiplayer.

  26. well, we have already Starcraft 2 using this learning AI and it is much more fun than the predictable AI we were used to….also Learning ai can be controlled, just using it in parts of a game, leaving the rest to the control of a game designer…so I don't see the problem at all..I would like to see warcraft 2 using the same AI, all the old strategy games, like UFO Enemy unknown, etc….Dos Doom, it would be cool to apply Ai to the enemies, or just a few of them…I don't need to talk with them, just Ai that can challenge the player unpredictably…but even this can be limited by the designer….ai could for example be applied to how the enemies are using their weapons, or the path they choose…many many examples of Ai that can be limited by choice by the designer…so we really welcome this new way to play against the computer, we are sick tired of multiplayer games….well I don't like them at all.

  27. we should have AI develop a game for one individual seeing what that individual likes and doesnt like then let everyone play "john appleseeds game made for him" just to see what that person likes

    idk it sounds cool in my head

  28. Damn, what happens when AI becomes close enough to people that you genuinely start caring for them on a personal level? Like you can speak to them via microphone and they really interact with what you say and develop a relationship with you. I’d feel hella weird being that attached to a virtual character but just like in the movie Her where will the line stop?

  29. It would be nice if the next Diablo game has deep learning AI monsters – which means they adapt to your strategy and come up with counters.

  30. Would be worth mentioning that big game companies use AI right now to soak mobile users when they're the most emotionally vulnerable

  31. I was writing on forums for a good ten years that the real “next gen” would arrive when a leap in game AI would happen, not graphics and teraflops

  32. Imagine a game that doesn't have any levels or a scripted storyline. Instead the AI makes up the story in advance or even as you play and creates every level to advance the story. If it's well done, it would be incredible. You could even tell it what type of game you want it to create, be as general or specific as you want and display it as graph. Try multiple iterations until the AI creates something that looks worth playing.

  33. It could also design a games story just for you, and basically make an entire 80 hour or more story with dialogue, characters and plot twists. Especially if it read thousands of books to reference from

  34. I wonder why a company don't just create a good AI (for each type of games) that they would then sell to studios rather than game's studios creating a small AI that they don't have the time to polish each time that they make a game… Or BIG AAA companies could develop a very sophisticated AI that they would use for several games, especially since they like to milk their big licenses.

  35. I would really like to see I mean really like to see some intelligence in the NP c's in grand theft auto 6 and better interaction let them live their life Kind of like The Sims or something

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