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Gran Turismo Sophy: Introducing Sony’s racing AI

Racing into the future

Updated: Feb 10, 2022 2:04 pm

The future of racing may well have arrived! Sony has announced Gran Turismo Sophy; an AI built collaboratively with Polyphony digital and Sony’s own AI team. The brand-new AI is understood to be able to race competitively against Gran Turismo players the world over, including some of the best in the business.

Gran Turismo Sophy: Racing ahead of the pack

Gran Turismo Sophy is a revolutionary step in machine learning. The AI was left to play through Gran Turismo Sport until it was capable of racing against the best of the best.

The Gran Turismo team are hoping to eventually implement Gran Turismo Sophy into their games. If they are successful, it could be a revolutionary step forward in videogame AI work. To be able to seamlessly adjust to any player’s technical level would significantly upgrade the Gran Turismo experience. In any racing game, the pros will graduate from single-player very quickly, as the AI ceases to be a challenge for anything other than specific forms of practise. But to never have to wait to match up against a pro? That could revolutionise training and improvement for those that make the hobby into their work.

But the benefits of Gran Turismo Sophy stretch beyond the bounds of Videogames. It is hoped that Sophy will be able to be used to further research into self-driving cars. Could a racing game AI have that much impact on our day to day lives? We would be closer to living in the automated future of our dreams! Or one step further into a cyberpunk haze, depending on who you ask.

Racing against time

These are early days for this kind of AI work. But imagine where the technology could go from here. Could Gran Turismo Sophy – or its successors – eventually develop past the skills of any human player? Even this early, Gran Turismo Sophy was able to score a win against Gran Turismo world champion Takuma Miyazono.

Even chess grandmasters can’t compete against computers. Is it only a matter of time until we see the racing world’s equivalent of Deep Blue? For the sake of professional gamers everywhere, maybe it’s better that this stays as a training tool for now.

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