Have you ever felt like there’s just not enough time in a day to play all the games you want, in addition to eating, sleeping, and working? Well, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s recent patent for an “automated artificial intelligence control mode for playing specific tasks during gaming applications” might be of interest.
The patent application, filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment in April 2020 and published this month (via SegmentNext), outlines a way in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) could study a person’s playing style and then assist or take over their gaming sessions as needed.
According to the patent, a default playing profile could be assigned to a user and the AI would initially simulate general human behavior. Over time, however, by monitoring “a multitude of game sessions of the user playing a multitude of gaming applications,” the AI could adjust the user’s profile and start behaving more like the specific player it has studied.
The idea is that once you have an AI profile that can reasonably reliably mimic your behavior, you can ask the AI to take over and continue progressing while you, for example, go prepare your food. Once you are ready to return to the game, you can simply exit the automated mode.
The patent specifically mentions cases where “the game controller can continue in automatic mode to complete specific game tasks that are difficult for the user.”
The patent also outlines the potential in a “competitive multiplayer game.” For example, if a player needs to leave the game, the game does not need to end – instead, he can turn on automatic mode to simulate his game, so that his “online presence is maintained” while he is away.
Given the already heated atmosphere of online multiplayer games and the tensions surrounding cheating, this seems by far the most controversial use of the mode and the most likely to degenerate into the kind of AI-hunting hellscape that only Philip K. Dick could dream of.
For some players, the idea of sitting back with a plate of food while watching an AI version of themselves work their way through the duller parts of their PS5 games may be appealing. Others who pride themselves on grinding may think differently.