The ‘Game X AI’ meetup was held by Connectome on 20th February 2019. It aimed to discuss the relationship between the gaming industry and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as the ramifications which would be brought about by the integration of AI into the gaming scene, both presently and in the future.
Participants enjoyed delicious Japanese cuisine while mingling and chatting about the main topics to be discussed before the presentations by our panel of guest speakers officially commenced.
Our esteemed panel of guest speakers then each gave a presentation depicting the relationship between the gaming industry and AI. The ‘Game X AI’ meetup was then concluded with a ‘Fireside Chat’ where participants were able to discuss relevant questions with members of the panel.
First off, Connectome’s very own Atsushi Ishii, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Couger & Co-Founder of Connectome, gave a presentation titled ‘Game X Blockchain X AI’.
In his presentation, Atsushi spoke about topics such as AI, machine learning, blockchain as well as data and the role it plays in AI development. He briefly touched on an example where AI was involved in the creation of game worlds after processing an immense volume of data, showing the possibility of AI fulfilling the role of a game developer in the future when AI and its relevant technology becomes developed enough.
Following this, Atsushi then mentioned ‘Rachel’, Connectome’s very own Virtual Human Agent (VHA). During his presentation, he talked about the capabilities of ‘Rachel’ and highlighted them through a video. After this, he carried out a live demonstration of ‘Rachel’ and its functionalities, allowing the audience to have a glimpse of the potential of AI in the future.
The second speaker to take the stage was none other than Jose He, Co-Founder of Bountie Technologies. He started his presentation by walking the audience through a timeline spanning from the invention of computers to the present where AI has been developed after decades of research.
Jose pointed out that AI is being developed at an exponential speed by drawing a comparison between one of the earliest forms of AI, which was only able to play a game with a fixed set of rules (‘AlphaGo by Google’s DeepMind), and current AI (OpenAI by Elon Musk & Sam Altman), which is able to play and conquer top human gamers in games such as ‘DOTA 2’ or ‘StarCraft’ where the rule sets are more arbitrary and gameplay is more unpredictable.
He then extrapolated this fact and explained the potential roles that he envisioned AI being able to play in the gaming industry. These roles were diverse and varied, from being a trainer bringing competitive gamers to their next pinnacle of success to supporting large-scale gaming competitions such as an e-sports commentator to being a player and competitor itself, Jose believed that AI, given enough time and development, would be able to do it all.
Lastly, the Founder of Soqqle, Daniel Shen gave an interesting presentation revealing the relationship between several seemingly unrelated topics, AI, gaming and education. In his opinion, Daniel firmly believed that instead of being a bane for the education sector, gaming could actually help to enhance the learning process for students when it is applied in the correct context using a suitable medium to engage students in a more interactive manner.
He cited research showing that people who game together, even without direct interaction, show a tendency to want to play for an extended period of time. When applied to an educational context, he felt that this could spark an interest in the subject being taught to students.
Daniel pictured an ecosystem where AI, games and education were all integrated and a system of obtaining incentives for fulfilling certain tasks was put in place via the usage of blockchain technology. He rounded up his presentation by stating that although AI is currently being developed, reaching a level of sophistication as imagined by him and many others is still an aim which is to be achieved in the future. Presently, the developers of AI and those interested in it should consider the issue of how to ensure that AI developed in the future possesses a sound system of morals and values to guide its decision-making processes.
In conclusion of the ‘Game X AI’ meetup, a ‘Fireside Chat’ moderated by Connectome’s Operations Manager, Bess Leow, was held for participants and speakers to voice out their opinions and questions.
One intriguing question asked brought up the issue of AI outperforming professional human gamers and that the competitive gaming scene would become stale with little entertainment value.
To address this issue, Jose He of Bountie Technologies mentioned “The development of AI in the gaming industry is not solely to beat top human players in competitive gaming. Instead, the ultimate goal of developing such technology is to elevate the skills of competitive gamers so that a new breed of superstars in the gaming scene can be born for people to follow.”
This illustrated a novel vantage point from which the introduction of AI into the gaming industry could bring it to new heights where AI would be contributing to the gaming scene to make it richer instead of making competitive gaming more dull and less entertaining.
Photo Credits: 1 Media Creations