This year there have been two significant developments in AI technology that could seriously impact the future of online gaming. First DeepMind defeated professional gamers in StarCraft II, showing that AI has the ability to be intuitive, ‘surpassing ordinary processing to deeply understand the information and the situation at hand’.
Second, Pluribus – an AI program, defeated multiple poker professionals for the first time. Whether you play multiplayer games, like to try your luck on the slots, or play poker at WSOP online you’re probably wondering how the future on online gaming looks, and how AI will affect it. Today we’re offering a couple of predictions…
Esports and ProGamers
The esports industry is booming. Currently, there is a global audience of 380 million and this number is set to double by 2022. These kinds of viewing figures mean big business, and the industry has racked up more than $1 billion in revenue. Experts predict that moving forwards AI will be used to help train ProGamers. Currently, how these players train is nowhere close to being optimised, and sadly this can lead talented players to burn out fast because the only way to get better is to play all the time. AI will be able to isolate areas where the gamer is weak and help them to work on that specific area. It will improve the efficiency of training and make competition even hotter.
Online poker and casino games
Without a doubt, AI is going to change the face of online poker and casino games. Exactly how that will happen, and whether that change is for the better, remains to be seen. When Pluribus defeated the professional poker players, those players instantly went on to adopt some of the tactics the AI was using. If you look at it like that – AI could again be used to upskill current players, to help them learn faster and become better at a rate beyond the typical rate of humans. On the flipside, close monitoring needs to be initiated. Already online sites are plagued with bad players using bots in order to win, and if that becomes commonplace, the amount of people playing online could take a serious dip. Many of the biggest names in the field are already taking precautions to safeguard their players, but their tactics will need to evolve alongside the AI.
AI and video games combine
Currently, the ‘self-learning’ AI software that we’re seeing doesn’t necessarily work in the video game context. If used in this way, it could make some games unplayable by, for example, making the game too unpredictable or by stopping the game telling a story. Game developers aim to create an experience with a predictable outcome that players can anticipate, react to and win! As AI progresses, expect developers to use it to create more of a sense of realism – ‘to create an experience or a world that engages and stimulates players in ways only the real world used to be capable of.’