Sony Patents an AI for Gaming

Gamers could be seeing vast changes in how they play games.

Being stuck on a seemingly unbeatable level or boss in a video can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with, especially when you are crunched for time. Well, Sony may be in the process of helping players with this exact issue from the looks of a new patent that they submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization, also known as WIPO. 

The patent is titled “In-Game Resource Surfacing Platform,” or an artificial intelligence (AI) that will be incorporated into gaming. Sony’s goal is to provide players with suggested resources, whether it be downloadable content (DLC), in game equipment or skill, or general tips that will assist a player when the AI determines they are stuck. The AI will provide these suggested resources by using the data of successful runs through the area that a player is stuck. The algorithm that the AI uses to determine the most adequate way to assist the player can be seen further in the figures provided with the patent application. 

The integration of such an AI has the potential to either be a huge hit or receive extreme backlash. Clearly, providing tips, tricks, and suggestions for a difficult area or stage in a game is something that many gamers could benefit from. The use of an AI that can assist you through these laborious bosses, fights, or challenges in a game will potentially allow for a more enjoyable experience. Think back to any game that you stopped playing just because you were unable to get past a certain moment; this AI would assist in getting past a sticking point. Even more so, the AI could also provide information about potential gear that is being misused or under used within the game. 

While the incorporation of assistance, such as this, can be helpful, it can also be abused by developers and Sony themselves. A concern that I saw while looking at the drawings and reading parts of the patent is the high incorporation of the “virtual store.” The AI may have a bias of suggesting that the player buy items, such as a microtransaction within a game, rather than providing suggestions on abilities or equipment that the player already has at their disposal. Such actions could arguably be considered predatory for players that are younger or those who struggle with self-control when it comes to spending. 

It would be ideal that such a system provide the player the option to turn off the AI. This will ensure an enjoyable gaming experience for those players who are at risk for spending money uncontrollably, as well as those who do not want help and wish to figure out the solutions on their own.  

The future of gaming is going to see some huge changes with the coming console generation. Some will be thrilling and enhance everyone’s gaming experience, while other changes will come with some backlash. Only time will tell how the game space, and how we enjoy games, will change. What are your thoughts on the potential integration of AI in gaming? 

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