Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Google’s AI Can Make You a Custom Video Game

Generative AI has come a long way in just the past year. First, ChatGPT blew our minds with what it could do with text, and programs like Midjourney and DALL-E figured out how to create images from simple prompts. Others, like OpenAI’s Sora, can now generate video in the same way.

Perhaps that’s why I’m not surprised to learn that Google DeepMind researchers have now created a program for generating 2D video games. Genie, as the researchers have dubbed the program, can actually make you a playable platformer, although getting it there does seem to require a bit more input than, say, Midjourney needs to make you a picture.

Genie is trained on over 200,000 hours of 2D platformer gameplay videos (all publicly available). This content teaches the bot the fundamentals of 2D platforming design; it can even differentiate the playable elements from static backgrounds and interfaces. Genie can take in drawings, animated art, real pictures, and text descriptions to generate a game.

Before you get too impressed, take a look at some of the results. These Genie-generated games aren’t going to show up on Nintendo’s eShop anytime soon. In fact, they look pretty terrible. I think they look more like someone dreaming about playing a video game: elements are blurry, motion is quick and jagged, and there isn’t much for the player to actually do. Plus, unlike many early AI projects, Genie isn’t actually user-facing yet, so it’s impossible to say what the average output is like, or how much refining it took to get the samples we have been shown.

But the point is, this is the first we’re seeing of Genie. As the model trains and improves, its output will undoubtedly get better. Will Genie ever be able to generate a full, playable game you’ll actually, you know, want to play? I don’t know. Will Sora ever be able to generate full video that is worth watching? These are questions that can’t be answered yet.

But what’s true is the better this tech gets, the more concerning it becomes: With layoffs already hammering the gaming industry this year, I can’t imagine AI generated gaming will be good for workers.


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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.


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