Technology is a strange beast. It changes incrementally, creeping up on us in a way we don’t really notice, and then all of a sudden, a tipping point is reached, and everything seems to change instantly.
Add the fact that Moore’s Law tends to mean that technological change occurs exponentially faster with each new cycle, and the changes that might soon be upon us are breathtaking to contemplate.
As a gamer, I want to speculate on how AI might change games and gaming. If you think some of what I say here is science fiction, I challenge you to come back and read this post in 2030. We’re on the verge of a brave new world, and I’m eager to witness it.
AI Will Personalize Games
If there’s one thing that AI is already excellent at, it’s learning about personalities. Nowhere is this more obvious than on social media; your feed will be very different than my feed, because the AIs that govern these feeds know more about us as individuals than we know about ourselves.
I predict that this is going to spill over into gaming. Sure, a game has to have a core set of rules that are universal to all players, but the content of the games can change. As AI advances, I believe you’ll meet in-game characters that are specific to your likes and dislikes, missions and rewards that appeal to you personally, and more. This will radically personalize the gaming experience and potentially make games more addictive than they already are, but that’s another subject for another day.
AI Will Make It Possible to Cheat Games
Turning our attention to games of chance for a moment, I believe AI will give game companies major headaches. People tend to think that the most advanced AI will be developed by the gaming corporations themselves, but what if a genius from a small town in nowhere develops effective cheat codes for slot machines that allow him to win every time?
There are virtually no regulations surrounding AI yet, but there will have to be soon. AI programs already beat the world’s best players at chess, poker, and GO. That’s all well and good until the players get their hands on the AI. Then, all of a sudden, casinos, betting sites, and any company running real money games will have to have clear, legally enforceable policies to deny winnings to cheats, and they’ll have to be able to prove it. Interesting to think about, right?
AI Will Make Gaming Consoles and Gear Cheaper
One thing that people don’t easily understand about AI is that it’s all-encompassing. What we’re seeing today is only the beginning of a revolution that will change everything in the next 10-30 years.
One of the things that AI will change first is manufacturing. If breakthroughs are made towards general AI, we could see dramatic changes such as new materials, methods of manufacturing, and even quantum leaps in computing, all produced by the AI itself. This would make gaming PCs, consoles, and associated gear much cheaper to produce.
Of course, gaming companies could limit the supply of new consoles, creating artificial demand and keeping prices high, but will they? What if they can increase the number of people buying consoles by 500x by getting the price so low that everyone can afford one? And what does this mean for gaming in general?
AI Will Create VR Gaming World’s We Can’t Dream Of Yet
Think the graphics on the new PS5 are impressive? You ain’t seen nothing yet! VR is still in its infancy, and within 10-20 years, we will be able to step into worlds that are indistinguishable from reality.
What if you could play war games that made you believe you were really in a war situation, complete with bodily sensations? How about sports games where you could hear the 100,000 strong crowds chanting and cheering all around you? These games are coming. I believe they will be with us by 2030 at the latest, and probably a lot sooner.
A Brave New World – AI Unleashed
There are many exciting applications to Artificial Intelligence. Gaming is just one of them. If you’re interested in learning more, I suggest you read Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark or watch this podcast episode with Dr. Ben Goertzel.
Once you go down the AI rabbit hole, it will blow your mind. Nothing can prepare us for the shift that will happen this coming decade, but as gamers, we stand to reap some of the biggest benefits of AI. It’s exciting to think that we’ll make more progress in this coming decade than everything that happened between the Atari and the PS5, and then some!