Video games might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the ways in which technology can better the world. However, the virtual environment that video games provide can play a crucial role in the faster development of artificial intelligence.
Video games can generate enormous amounts of data in a very short time. Scientists can generate hundreds of “real-world years” of data in just a few hours with the use of video games. The more data the AI has, the faster it can learn and develop.
Here are several ways in which video games can help develop artificial intelligence faster than ever before.
A virtual environment allows artificial intelligence to develop its algorithms at a much faster pace than a physical environment does. In the time a robot completes a task 10 times, an algorithm could play a video game 10,000 times.
Thanks to video games, we could have autonomous artificial intelligence agents in a few years, rather than in several decades.
In addition, there is no risk that anything will break or malfunction in the process. Thus, the cost and staff requirement is lower as well. If we were to train AIs with robots, there would be a risk of overheating or wear and tear.
Autonomous cars are becoming more and more frequently seen on the streets everywhere in the world. However, there is still a lot of debate whether it is safe to allow them to learn in the real world.
An alternative would be to create a virtual driving game in which an AI could train in a safe environment and then use what it had learned in the open roads. This virtual world would be an exact copy of real-world streets, complete with signs and unpredictable traffic.
The lessons Artificial Intelligence learn in video games can be applied to many new areas — only the human imagination is the limit. For example, by playing strategy games, AIs can build their management skills which can be used in numerous industries.
To advance in a strategy game, you need to think in a tactical manner, build and coordinate logistical networks, and make sure that there is a sufficient inflow of resources. Such games are the closest we can get to mimicking real-world tasks.
Apart from helping artificial intelligence progress at a faster pace, video games also help scientists understand how AI functions and learns. They provide a controlled environment in which we can observe the AI and see how it makes decisions and which mistakes it makes. That allows us to write better algorithms and find better real-world applications for artificial intelligence.
Moreover, by watching artificial intelligence play video games against humans, we can figure out what AIs are good at and what humans are good at. Thus, we can find ways in which artificial intelligence can complement human skills and improve the efficiency of real-world processes.
As you can see, artificial intelligence and video games are a match made in heaven. Before, they were thought of as a source of entertainment, but now scientists have found them a much more important role. They are certainly making the world a better place.