The video game industry has always strived to offer titles with better graphics and more advanced technology in terms of images and sounds. However, what many do not know is that for their development and success they rely on another element: artificial intelligence.
Compared to other fields in which it is used this technology, artificial intelligence in video games differs in that it is oriented towards entertainment by performing an intrinsic function within the game itself. In this article we see the characteristics and evolution of AI in video games.
Artificial intelligence uses machine and deep learning techniques to ensure that a program or machine is able to learn the information we want to teach it, with the aim of then behaving like a living being in different sectors. Not long ago it has also been used in healthcare, for example for predict heart attacks early.
It is not a new technology and indeed, it has also been anticipated in many science fiction stories, in which machines, once instructed by man, learn to fight and subdue him. Even in films like Terminator, AI is accused, more or less indirectly. This is why there are almost those who fear its potential, especially in the military sector.
In the world of video games, fortunately, the purposes of developers are only related to entertainment. Artificial intelligence is in fact used above all to design the behavior of non-player characters (NPC or NPC from the English term), so that these act within the story with the actions that a person in flesh and blood would carry out.
Obviously it is reductive to limit the functionality of this technology to the creation of the behavior of the opponents in the game, because it does something else. In fact, AI is also used to design maps or levels, but also for the creation of games from A to Z.
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It may seem strange, but AI has been used almost forever in video games. Just think of the game of chess, a computer program dating back to the 50s, which obviously had limited functionality. But also the legendary Pong, at the beginning of the 70s, in which the opponent moved according to the ball to make a counterattack. Or Space Invaders and Pac Man, among others.
However, they are premature and inefficient examples of artificial intelligence that were nevertheless improved in the 80s, with the release of strategy games capable of using algorithms to generate different scenarios. With the passage of time, even reaching our days, important advances have been seen with car simulation games and RTS, in which enemies can work out their own strategy based on the actions performed by the player.
Today's video games are already capable of offering a satisfying virtual experience, because they allow you to interact in some games as it was unthinkable in the past. However, there is a lot to do and the best is yet to come, also thanks to the Metaverse.
In fact, with this digital world it will be possible to feel part of a game, and be completely immersed in it thanks to 3D technology. It will be the player who controls every movement according to what he sees in the virtual world, but everything inside it will behave accordingly thanks to artificial intelligence. But that is not all.
By connecting with people who play from all over the world, artificial intelligence will be able to translate the language used by the other participants almost instantly, to facilitate interaction. Finally, the developers will try to create, in addition to the virtual world copied from the real one, also other fantasy worlds, to venture into alien and unknown territories.
Artificial intelligence is a type of technology that scares in some respects, but it is undeniable how much it can help humans in many areas. From the point of view of video games, it helps us to enjoy more real and personalized experiences, but above all fun. Even if we are still a long way from being able to take advantage of its full potential, AI will continue to entertain us and will always do so without rebelling. Or maybe not?