This begins my weekly blog posting on AI. The reason I am creating is because it is a requirement of my AI module. However, as my dissertation topic is quite close to this (using traditional AI methods such as neural networks, to create a crowd simulation and compare it to existing implementations) these blogs will be used as a starting point for my dissertation research and are thus a useful place to start if you are curious about my future paper.
On this post I will focus on an AI technique that I believe will make a big impact on how games are designed namely Natural-Language processing(NLP), specifically voice recognition. The field of NLP has existed since the early 50’s but until recent advances and the dawn of the voice-activated assistants such as Siri or Google Assistant (Hirst, 2016), it had no presence in the general public’s life. The reason for this is that more than most AI techniques NLP is a zero-sum technology. What I mean by that, is that unless it works perfectly (or to a degree of accuracy) it will be too frustrating and error prone to have much success as a user-friendly product.
Once the obstacles present have been surpassed (These range from creating algorithms sophisticated to understand colloquial speech to overcoming the public’s aversion to talking to automated systems) we would have an extremely useful tool for thousands of industries.
Looking at game development specifically, this would enable designers to do away with a lot of the traditional graphical user interface and instead rely on user voice commands. This could be taken much further to the point where the primary gameplay hinges upon it. For example, a user could command his AI squad and see their orders correctly interpreted and carried out or speak their part in in-game conversations. The increase in immersion would be unfathomable and would be a grand step forward to simulations/games that mimic life so accurately it is hard for a user to tell which is which. The power of being able to understand what the user is accurately saying means that a designer could use it in a myriad of ways and it is my belief that it revolutionises game design.
Hirst, Rick (2016). Siri, Echo and Google Home: are digital assistants the future of the office?
Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2016/nov/21/siri-echo-google-home-digital-assistants-future-office
Turing, Alan Mathison (1950). Computing Machinery and Intelligence
Available from: https://www.csee.umbc.edu/courses/471/papers/turing.pdf
Thomson, David (2005). Speech Technologies Make Video Games Complete
Available from: http://www.speechtechmag.com/Articles/Editorial/Feature/Speech-Technologies-Make-Video-Games-Complete-29432.aspx