Sony patents an AI bot that will play your games for you

Half of Artificial Intelligence robot face
(Image credit: Getty Images, Yuichiro Chino)

Sony has published a patent (via SegmentNext) that uses artificial intelligence to monitor players as they play games with the intent of creating and controlling an AI character that mimics the user's inputs in those games. Basically, Sony has patented a bot that can play the way you play.

The AI profile starts with a basic set of behaviours but adds to these in response to monitoring the player's actions, so as to make similar decisions to that player. The end goal is an AI profile that will play games in a similar way to that player. The player then has the option of letting the AI take over and play the game on their behalf.

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The patent also covers the possibility of a game being able to notify a player if they are struggling to complete a task that the AI can assist them with. There's even the inclusion of identifying such tasks as being completed by the player with assistance from the AI.

While one take on this is a nightmarish future where we end up with games being played by AI versions of ourselves against other AI players, the alternative is a way for multiplayer games to continue even when you have to take a break to eat, take a toilet break, or do some work. It could also help gamers that have accessibility needs. 

There's a push from the industry as a whole to explore what AI and machine learning can bring to our lives, and it's no surprise that gaming will be part of this. Case and point: Nvidia's latest patent hints at a future use for AI in game haptics. 

We've had bots in games for years, usually to the annoyance of other players and game developers, but Sony's patent points to a much more beneficial system. Especially if it's clear you're playing against a human or AI.

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.