The third in the Gran Turismo Sophy development video series has been released, and alongside showcasing the artificial intelligence prowess in the ‘Race Together’ event last year, it also pontificates over how it could be used outside of showcase races.
GT Sophy is created by Sony AI, as opposed to the game development team at Polyphony Digital, to try and create an agent that can think for itself is naturalistic motorsport scenarios.
Using GT Sport as the development platform, the global team was able to raise awareness of the programme, train it against former GT Academy contestants and then finally win three races against the world’s best Gran Turismo drivers.
But, then what?
“The race is not the end,” said Yunshu Du, a Research Scientist at Sony AI in the latest video.
“The next thing to actually think about is how we can make use of these great agents that we have built?”
While the project has been in a test and development phase to date, the game series producer Kazunori Yamauchi has previously stated he would like to see it in Gran Turismo 7 in some form. But, how, why, what and when is far from confirmed.
“We are looking at how to integrate GT Sophy with actual releases of the game,” explains Samuel Barrett, Senior Research Scientist at Sony AI.
“We were able to play against the best human players in the world. That’s great but if you’re not the best human player in the world, that’s going to be too good for you. It’s not going to be fun to play against.”
Then there’s a shot of what appears to be Gran Turismo 7 being tested on PlayStation 5, although it’s not clear if this is with Sony working or simply Yamauchi-san driving the game separately.
“How do we modulate the skill level so that it’s just the right amount of challenging for people who are at different skill levels in the game?” queries Peter Stone, Sony AI Executive Director.
“How can perhaps it be a teammate, rather than an opponent? Identify things that people could do better and improve their performance for the large population of people who, you know, play for fun.”
Having a highly skilled AI agent in a game acting as a trainer or mentor sounds like a unique and engaging use case for such a clever piece of technology.
Whatever its final place in the world turns out to be, GT Sophy is a fascinating project that we’d love to test our skills against, somehow, someday.