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Gamers used "ChatGPT" long before ChatGPT

By Krzamake | Gaming fun | 6 Mar 2023

Artificial intelligence or AI (artificial intelligence) is the most complex and demanding part of video games. It is not easy to simulate the behavior of living beings in games because they are layered and include many potential (inter)actions. Nevertheless, some games throughout history have made significant advances in the field of artificial intelligence. Video games may not have directly helped the advancement of artificial intelligence for wider real-world applications (eg the famous ChatGPT), but they have contributed to the development of certain models of how artificial intelligence works.

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In this article I highlighted the AI systems that brought significant progress to video games and shaped the gameplay in interesting ways, i.e. the experience of playing itself. I've selected nine such titles.



Akinator is not exactly a game in the classic sense, but it is an early example of machine learning and reverse AI interaction. In this case, you don't ask the artificial intelligence for information, but it asks you - imagine a person or a fictional character, and the spirit called Akinator asks you questions in order to guess who you imagined as soon as possible. It used to be scary how Akinator could guess who you had in mind in very few questions.

The application of artificial intelligence here is not actually in the guessing itself - here Akinator just relies on its database. Instead, the AI system dynamically selects the most suitable questions in order to arrive at the answer through as few steps as possible.


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An unusual game in which you play an all-powerful deity is remembered for training artificial intelligence. In this game, you could teach your creatures certain behaviors by punishing or praising them. The game thus gave the player indirect control over an uncontrollable being, simulating a breeding process that had never been seen before. The whole thing was interesting because beings could be made docile by curbing their urges, but one could also raise an unbridled and wild being.


3. EVENT[0]

In many games, we have the possibility of talking with artificial intelligence, but that conversation is scripted, i.e. pre-controlled. The indie pearl Event[0] is of a different type, because here you don't choose what your character will say, but you just type in your questions, to which the artificial intelligence called Kaizen then reacts and tries to give you a competent answer. The thing only works in English, but it's still very impressive because it includes thousands of words that the AI recognizes, connects to the story, and delivers convincing conversation.



Stalker's AI system called A-Life was the main reason why the game experienced a lot of delays. In the final version of the game, we got a kind of truncated version of that insanely ambitious system, but it was still impressive. A-Life was essentially in charge of simulating life in the Chernobyl zone, that is, the entire open world. This means that bandit conflicts on the map took place independently of the player, giving the impression of a living world. When you found someone's body in Stalker, it wasn't the body that the developers put in that location, but the corpse of a Stalker who could have died in another location. Among other things, the system was in charge of enemy migrations on the map, so you wouldn't find a traveling patrol where you left it.

Unfortunately, the system was too ahead of its time for the developers to pull off everything they had in mind. Some of A-Life's ambitions were realized only with the help of modifications, so that some games only achieved something close to the living world that Stalker had in mind years later.

These are some examples of interesting applications of artificial intelligence in games. But there are definitely more. In which games did the AI surprise you with its competence or believability? Let's talk about it below in the comments.

If you guys show interest in this topic I will try to make new post about more games that used AI long before ChatGPT and todays technology.

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