Scientists around the world are using video games as learning tools for enhancing AI and this could in turn help advance autonomous cars, improve CGI or help you beat a computer at poker. It all started a few years ago as startups struggled to collect the right amount of data needed to teach AI algorithms properly.

Although researchers can teach AI algorithms how to solve complex algorithms, few people have the knowledge, patience and the time required to fully train them. But that’s where online games come in. Unlike humans, games like Grand Theft Auto and Assassin’s Creed have time and patience in plenty.

Grand Theft Auto’s autonomous vehicles that can read stop signs even in clouded weather could soon help advance real-life self-driving cars. Two researchers from Princeton University recently tested this theory by gathering stop sign images from GTA V and fed them to AI algorithms.

They then tweaked the game so that it could be played by AI algorithms and observe how it used images from GTA to enhance its ability to read stop signs. The idea worked excellently. The trained algorithms collected 95.5% of all stop signs located 20 meters away from an autonomous car.

“To train the network, we developed a method to automatically collect labeled data from Grand Theft Auto 5,” the researchers said in a report. “Using this method, we assembled a dataset of 1.4 million images with and without stop signs. “…convolution neural network trained and tested on this data can detect 95.55 of the stop signs within 20 meters.”

A group of scientists from Xerox Research Center Europe also believes feeding AI algorithms with computer-generated images might help advance the technology cost-effectively. In 2016, the researchers created ultra-realistic images after observing Assassin’s Creed’s stellar scenes.

They then used the images to compare how AI algorithms interpret images created by CGI versus real images taken by DSLR cameras. Their research is ongoing.

In the online gambling industry, AI is being projected to be the technology that finally helps players beat computers at games like online video poker and blackjack. Although it’s a long reach, AI bots fed with proper knowledge could read the patterns used by random number generators to determine when players win and lose.

In a similar fashion, the bots could also be used to read RNG software on slot machines but not before online casinos devise ways to add more security layers to their games.


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