Although in this article we are focusing on the uses of Artificial Intelligence and Technology inside esports, they have multiple uses in many other industries.
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Esports and gaming have been enjoying a power boost of sorts in the past few years. Esports has outgrown itself as a subset of sports and is now a full industry in its own right, one that is expected to generate almost 1.8 billion US dollars in revenue by 2022.
This power-up has been provided, in huge part, by artificial intelligence and technology. And it looks like it will not be hitting the pause button anytime soon. Here are some ways AI and technology are powering up esports and entertainment:
AI and technology have found themselves on the sidelines, helping with ‘coaching’ tasks for today’s gamers.
Several AI platforms and applications are helping gamers to outwit their opponents in multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games by:
In Dota or League of Legends, for example, an AI coach can advise players on how to execute offense and defense better and how specific approaches in defending bases can improve or lessen their chances of winning.
In Overwatch, AI can give useful tips on how to make the most of the weapons, improve mobility, and get a leg up on other characters that have unique skills, abilities, or powers.
In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, meanwhile, the same technology can tell players which areas of the map are best as hideouts or stakeout positions for shooting at the enemies, as well as tell them which group formations are ideal for minimizing the effectivity of counterattacks.
As an “assistant” coach, AI enables gamers to play more effectively and win more efficiently.
Google-owned UK-based AI company DeepMind used machine learning to find ways to best not only professional human players but arcade games as well.
In 2014, the company’s self-learning AI beat Pong, the classic arcade game by Atari. In 2019, it beat humans pros in StarCraft II, a popular real-time strategy game.
More than beating humans, this ability of AI and machine-learning technologies to solve games help improve the game design, which then leads to its use in other fields such as programming and cybersecurity.
American multinational tech company IBM has also announced plans to venture into esports, with the help of Watson, the company’s suite of enterprise-ready AI services, applications, and tooling.
IBM will soon introduce AI to esports “shoutcasting”, the running commentary of esports games. IBM Watson will go through hundreds of hours of esports footage and learn about popular and useful reviews. Shoutcasters are then given content that is AI-curated and AI-optimized.
The improved live streams aim to bring in more audience to esports: Goldman Sachs predicts the monthly audience for esports will reach 276 million by 2022, which could be worth US$3 billion.
IBM Watson has also allowed voice commands for certain games like Star Trek: Bridge Crew in PlayStation 4.
One thing that is constant with artificial intelligence and technology is that it is always evolving and improving. With the right AI applications and tech, esports and entertainment can level up and completely become its own standalone, prolific industry.
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