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How AI is revolutionizing online gaming

The key thing to remember is that artificial intelligence is only just getting started.

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Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

Artificial intelligence is changing the way that we play games. It’s helping to provide us with better opponents in video games, and it can help stamp out cheating in sport and gambling. From software that can improve the performance of a cricket player to artificial intelligence coaching technology, it looks like the AI revolution is only just getting started. 

The rise of AI 

Artificial intelligence isn’t just a piece of science fiction anymore. Since the 1950s there has been a rapid rise in research that has aimed at creating true artificial intelligence that can help us live happier and healthier lives. As such, AI has started infiltrating many areas of human activity ranging from healthcare to construction.

However, the most prominent examples of the AI revolution first came in the gaming world. In 1997, IBM’s DeepBlue supercomputer managed to beat the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov. From here there were more famous triumphs culminating in 2016 when Google’s AlphaGo computer beat a human competitor at Go – one of the most complex games.

AI is able to process and analyse a huge amount of data from each game that it participates in or observes. This has already proven to be hugely helpful in the sporting world. 

Artificial intelligence apps like HomeCourt have been pivotal in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a basketball player’s game. Plus AI is already being used to help referees and umpires make correct decisions regarding anything from an LBW in an Australian game of cricket to a penalty kick in English Premier League soccer. 

Artificial intelligence analysis has also proven to be helpful in making predictions. At the moment, if you’re into online gambling in Australia, you’ll be going to a site like CaptainGambling that features bookmakers who provide odds that are compiled by human effort and calculation 

But AI could be used to get a much more detailed picture of how athletes are performing so as to build a more accurate prediction of what could happen in the future. Plus it’s worth noting that artificial intelligence is already being used to analyse players’ performances to spot unusual behaviour that could suggest cheating. 

Creating the ultimate AI competitor  

Using games as a testing ground for artificial intelligence makes perfect sense. This is because games have their own fixed sets of rules and they provide a valuable space whereby AI can learn from its human opponents. An AI player would learn from each game that it wins or loses, and it’s this fact that has meant that we could all be playing endlessly creative AI opponents in the future.

Obviously computer opponents have long been around in video games. But the rapid improvements made by AI opponents in video gaming in the past few years have been truly startling. In 2019 there was a famous victory when the OpenAI software managed to beat the world champion esports team at the Dota 2 battle arena game. The same year, the DeepMind AI software beat over 99% of human computers at the StarCraft 2 esport. 

What’s truly scary is the fact that the AI software will be learning from each game that it plays. Thankfully, efforts are underway to harness the incredible firepower of AI opponents to help us puny humans improve our own gameplay. The Turkish startup Falcon AI has shown how artificial intelligence can help gamers eliminate weaknesses in their gameplay thanks to the SenpAI software.

It’s been interesting to see how artificial intelligence is breaking out from behind the screen to provide us with more enduring competition in real-world sports. Things have advanced from the days of having a machine fire tennis balls at you. The spectacle of a robot goalkeeper in soccer might initially seem bizarre, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to see how such technology could be invaluable in coaching.

The key thing to remember is that artificial intelligence is only just getting started. As the technology continues to learn from us, it will undoubtedly prove to be more creative in how it lets us win or lose our favourite games. As for what happens next, that’s anybody’s guess. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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