AI Podcast: How Unity’s Danny Lange Hopes to Bring AI to Gaming

How do you find the perfect balance of art, story, and software? Ask Danny Lange, Unity Technologies’ VP of AI and Machine Learning.

While other industries were quick to adopt AI, the gaming world has been slow to integrate machine learning systems. At Unity, Lange is leading efforts to change that.

According to Lange, the gaming industry is hesitant to use deep learning in the game-making process because of the role of art involved in creating games.

“You really want to control your storyline, you really want to make sure your audience, your players, are having a top-rated experience, and you don’t really want to leave that up to the computer to decide,” Lange said in a conversation with Michael Copeland, host of the AI Podcast.

But Lange believes AI can help game makers by adding more automation in games.

“I think a lot of information systems have really improved over the years by getting AI and machine learning in their implementation,” said Lange. “And I personally believe that we can bring that to game development as well and basically improve the productivity of the game developers by taking away some of the more trivial tasks.”

Such trivial tasks include the creation of non-player characters (NPCs). With AI, NPCs can learn behaviors overnight, freeing up more time for developers to focus on other aspects of the game.

While the implementation of AI will alter the way we develop and play our games, one thing that can’t change is the creativity that goes into the game narrative.

“The game creator is in control of the game and it needs be entertaining, and it needs to be amusing, and create enjoyment for the player,” said Lange. “So, the NPCs should not take over here, they should be a tool to create that storyline that is exciting.”

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