Is Sony creating 'AI Agents' to play for you?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
Source: Sony


A Sony revealed that its newly created AI department is collaborating with the PlayStation to develop "AI agents for games".

The game's AI agents will leverage reinforcement learning, a form of machine learning where AI agents learn to achieve goals, so they can be used in game-playing games. PlayStation as virtual opponents or as collaborative partners.

Speaking during Sony's corporate strategy meeting on Tuesday, the CEO Kenichiro Yoshida didn't provide further details on the feature, but stated that the overall AI collaboration would make gaming experiences "even richer and more enjoyable".

The comments may relate to a recent Sony patent, which described an AI used to study a user's gaming style. PlayStation and potentially take control of the game for them .

According to the patent, the method involves assigning a default AI profile to the player, which starts with a generic set of behaviors.

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As the player plays a game several times, the AI ​​studies their behavior and applies it to the AI ​​profile, which means that over time, they will start to make decisions similar to the player.

Source: PS5

The idea is to end up with an AI profile that plays similarly to the player, who will have the option to let the AI ​​take over and play the game on their behalf.

One example given is players asking the AI ​​profile to “proceed in auto mode to complete specific game tasks that are difficult for the user”.

Another example given is online multiplayer cooperative games, where a player may need to leave the game to eat or work. In this situation, instead of the game having to end, the player can turn on 'automatic mode' and have the AI ​​play with their friends in their absence until they can return to take over again.

A Sony  established a new organization in late 2019 to advance AI research and development.

With offices in Japan, Europe and the United States, Sony AI was created to “conduct AI research and development in both physical and virtual space through various world-class flagship projects” and launched with three projects in games, images and detection, and gastronomy.

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