Deep Learning is a subfield of Machine Learning, which in turn is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. Deep Learning is a series of algorithms with various levels of human input ranging from supervised, semi-supervised as well as unsupervised. It is used to analyze the pattern of human input and use it to carry out several actions such as prediction, Deep Dreaming, to create art, sound engineering, robotic learning and much more. Nowadays, most of the industries are being transformed by innovations in Deep Learning. However, the use of deep learning in the gaming industry is still fairly new and a plethora of innovations are helping deep learning to create wonderful game plays.
Global Gaming Industry
The gaming industry, at the end of 2018, has surpassed the other entertainment Industries, namely television, film, and music, and is currently at $139 billion worldwide as reported by Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, with 2.3 billion gamers across the globe. Deep learning was introduced in the gaming industry after huge advancements in the processing speed of the Graphics Processing Unit and the volume of data available.
Deep Learning in the Gaming Industry
Developing a game is a complicated and labor-intensive task. There are a number of things that need to be carefully crafted such as the game environment, character behavior, and the storyline. It requires a number of storytellers, graphic artists as well as software engineers working together to develop a game. However, with the huge volume of data available, it is only a matter of time before deep learning becomes a major aspect in the creation of video games and game plays.
Present day video games are developed by hand-scripting. Deep learning has the potential to change that as video games developed by it would be able to react to the player’s actions more dynamically and in a number of imaginative ways. In addition to this, deep learning also has the ability to play a game unsupervised and learn the rules of the game in a matter of hours. It can surpass even the professional players at an inhuman rate, find loopholes and shortcuts in the game, all in the duration of four to six hours. There are many leading companies which are experimenting with deep learning to create wonderful game plays and video games.
Instances of Deep Learning Playing Video Games
In the past decade, more and more companies have been using deep learning to create wonderful game plays. Let us take a look at some of these attempts and how deep learning performed:
- Atari 2600: In 2013, deep learning successfully learned the control policies of the Atari 2600 game, directly from the high-dimensional sensory input without any human assistance by using the method of reinforcement learning. It was then allowed complete control to play seven Atari 2600 games without any adjustments to the algorithms. In the first game, it did not perform well and its moves were random and unconnected. After only two hours, it had learned all the rules of the game and was playing at an expert level. Another two hours later, deep learning had found a shortcut in the game of digging a tunnel through the wall, which was the most effective way to win. Thus, out of the seven games, the deep learning technology won six times.
- The Deep Learning Community: After the success of Deep Learning technology against Atari 2600, the deep learning community trained computers to play several games, such as Space Invaders, Gathering Doom, and several others. Even this time, the algorithms were unchanged and there was no human assistance provided to the computers. Similar to the first instance, the computers played for a few hours which enabled them to learn the rules of the games. The networks outperformed the experienced players almost as soon as they started playing but by the end of the games, they were performing at an inhuman level.
It should also be noted that in the violent games, such as Doom, the computer had a 5:12 kill to death ratio and performed twice as well, at killing, as the human counterparts. It gives us a glimpse at the efficiency of the computers being used as drones for military purposes and how in the wrong hands it’s could be horrific.
There are still several challenges before deep learning applications would be used in gaming regularly. Most of the major game development companies have invested heavily into the researching, refining, and application of Artificial Intelligence into their games. For now, it is safe to say that deep learning is very quick at learning by performing and using the learnings to adapt itself according to the situations. Deep Learning has enhanced the ability of computers, devices, and software to think on their own like a human and are surpassing the ability of humans.