Researchers at Electronic Arts — a leading videogame company — are testing recent advances in artificial intelligence as a way to speed the development process and make games more lifelike.
A team from EA and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is using a machine learning technique called reinforcement learning to automatically animate humanoid characters. "The results are very, very promising," says Fabio Zinno, a senior software engineer at Electronic Arts.
Traditionally, characters in videogames and their actions are crafted manually. By automating the animation process, as well as other elements of game design and development, AI could save game companies millions of dollars while making games more realistic and efficient, so that a complex game can run on a smartphone, for example.
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