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AI in gaming industry by Rishi Damaraju

The gaming industry as it stands today is a vastly different space than it was when it first started. For example, while the gaming industry began with developers presetting every aspect imaginable when a game was in the production process, in modern society gaming developers have begun to utilize artificial intelligence to its greatest potential, which is revolutionary to all parties involved.

The term artificial intelligence (AI) was first coined by John McCarthy, who believed that anything a human could learn and build intelligence upon could be successfully replicated by an inanimate machine. The gaming industry was first introduced to AI back in the 1950s, when the technology was not as popular as it is today. One of the earlier examples that we know of today is the game called Nim. In this game, two players are tasked with taking objects out of heaps. The loser is determined by whoever takes the last object. Although the technology of AI was still in the process of being developed and refined, this game was well ahead of its time, even beating high skill opponents.

In addition, AI can take on many forms. In Nim, the AI took the form of the second player, being able to predict what the human player was going to do and making a move accordingly. However, in 2022, AI has morphed into a very useful tool. Developers are able to shape AI into whatever they see fit. As said before, the gaming industry is very different in today’s generation. The topic of interest moves fast, and companies are challenged to stay on top of the game. With AI, companies gain massive benefits that weren’t previously available to them. One of the biggest advantages companies get from AI is being able to use a decreased budget and development time. Developers are able to rely on AI to create the virtual environment necessary for their games in a significantly shorter time and using significantly less resources. For example, many games contain Non-Playable Characters, otherwise known as NPCs, that are prevalent in many different types of games. These NPCs are essentially AIs, and can learn intuitively based on what the player does, rather than having a set reaction set by the developer.