EA‘s Deep Learning division has created an AI that has learned how to play their latest game, Battlefield 1. The AI learned the game from scratch through “trial and error” and is even able to play the game’s multiplayer, which has so many things happening at the same time given different modes. This is truly a breakthrough for EA’s Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division (SEED).
Artificial intelligence has been the focus of many things recently. There have also been many breakthroughs with regards to AI. Only recently there was an AI made by Facebook which was able to create and communicate in its own language. It seems that the future belongs to AI and that this is just the beginning. With AI such as the one EA has, it opens up different possibilities in the gaming industry as well.
The breakthrough was documented in a video during the Game Developers Conference. The AI went through the regular BF1 multiplayer experience, however, it did get a bit of help initially. The only help the AI received was in the form of ammo and health boxes. Although the Artificial Intelligence “agent” did get a little bit of help, it’s still surprising that it was able to learn the rest of the game through just trial and error.
Although the AI is pretty smart considering it was able to learn how to play the entire game from scratch even with a bit of help, the developers admit that it’s not perfect. EA acknowledges that there are a few problems here and there with the AI players of the game who’ll start running around in circles at various points in the game. So EA’s AI, although not perfect, is still pretty impressive because a game like Battlefield is hard to grasp even for new human players at first.
The game is of a different style than your traditional shooter games, so if human players struggle to get a grip of the game initially, it’s very impressive that an AI was able to fully learn the game mechanics. What’s even more impressive is the fact that the AI was able to learn the game’s multiplayer as well which is a series of an objective-oriented style of games.
“All players you see are controlled by a single neural network that has been trained to play the game from scratch through trial and error,” EA said. “The agents have learned to adapt their behaviour if they are low on ammo or health. Everything the agents do is the result of previous gameplay experience. We only give them encouragement for playing the objective.”
SEED, the division behind EA’s new AI aims to “explore, build, and help define the future of interactive entertainment.” Their latest AI is definitely a step in the right direction and if they keep working like they are now, they might be able to change the way bots are used in multiplayer games like Battlefield. You can get more information about SEED from EA’s website, here.
Many large game companies have divisions like SEED, but only a few show off their results. EA must have something big in store for us which is why it’s showing the rest of the world what they have accomplished. An AI that can learn something from scratch can be really powerful and it has a lot of use cases, especially in the gaming industry. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see how EA builds up on this breakthrough and how it intends to use this AI.
Whether EA has something in the works or not, is uncertain. However, what’s likely is the reveal of the next Battlefield game. It’s rumored that the game will likely take place in World War II, possible given the success of rival Call of Duty World War II. No official word about the game is out yet, but it’s likely for the new game to be revealed during E3 in June.