Sony AI, in partnership with Polyphony Digital Inc. and Sony Interactive Entertainment, has announced that it has reached a turning point in the field of artificial intelligence: Gran Turismo Sophy, the first superhuman agent based on artificial intelligence to beat the greatest pilots of Gran Turismo Sport, a highly realistic driving simulation video game for PlayStation. With Gran Turismo Sophy, the goal is to offer new AI-powered gaming experiences to gamers around the world.
Gran Turismo Sophy is an autonomous agent based on artificial intelligence, trained through innovative learning platforms with deep reinforcement; she has been trained to master various driving skills, necessary to compete with the drivers who dominate the world championships. These include race car control, race tactics and fair play. Being able to master the complex mechanics of motor racing within Gran Turismo Sport, a highly realistic driving simulator, represents a real turning point for artificial intelligence. For this reason it is also discussed in an article published in Nature, entitled Outracing Champion Gran Turismo Drivers with Deep Reinforcement Learning.
Sony has put Gran Turismo Sophy’s skills to the test by making her compete with four of the best Gran Turismo drivers in the world, at two Race Together 2021 Challenge events held on 2 July and 21 October 2021. After some changes based on the Results of the first race, in the second event in October, Gran Turismo Sophy outperformed the best GT drivers, both in timed racing and in FIA GTA Championship-style races.
Gran Turismo Sophy: comments on the results
The President and CEO of Sony Group Corporation Kenichiro Yoshida commented on the news as follows:
Sony’s goal is to fill the world with excitement with the power of creativity and technology, and Gran Turismo Sophy is the perfect embodiment of this. As a creative entertainment company, Sony is the only one to have initiated a collaboration between groups of this magnitude, which has allowed us to build a gaming AI dedicated to fans. It marks great advances in artificial intelligence and offers GT fans around the world exceptional experiences.
Of the same opinion Hiroaki KitanoCEO of Sony AI:
Gran Turismo Sophy represents a significant development in the field of AI: it was not born simply to be better than real players, but to be an opponent able to hone the techniques of pilots and stimulate their creativity. We are convinced that this great innovation can open the door to new opportunities not only for the gamer community, but also in areas such as autonomous racing, autonomous driving, control and high-speed robotics.
Finally, this is the comment of Kazunori YamauchiPresident of Polyphony Digital:
Research in the field of AI is an excellent opportunity to reflect on what it really means to be human and how to improve the coexistence between technology and society. Since its first title, launched in 1997, the Gran Turismo saga has consistently pushed the boundaries of video games and innovation, thanks to its curiosity about technology. Gran Turismo Sophy is a further demonstration of this philosophy and I am sure that this concept of AI will contribute to the future of video games as well as that of cars.