I know the Free Guy movie was released in Aug and I am writing an article in Nov, but I only saw the movie couple of weeks ago and just had a thought about what was shown in the movie, Could a self-aware Artificial intelligence NPC be a reality in near future? I know Free Guy is just a movie and we do not have any technology that advanced that will turn an NPC (Non-playable character) into a real character. Let’s see if this could be possible or impossible.
Okay so first let me explain what was the movie Free guy about If you have not seen it by now. Though highly advise you to see it. It is just an entertaining movie just like playing Fortnite, GTA 5 or PUBG or any other open-world game.
What is Free Guy about?
It is about a character who is an NPC (A non-playable character), and NPC is a character in the background of the game, who is just present to fill the city. An NPC character can be hit with the car, robbed or you can just hit them and they would react to it very little.
But in the Free Guy movie this NPC played by Ryan Reynolds named “Guy” realizes that he is alive after he meets a woman who is a player in this game named “Millie”.
He then helps Millie to get the original code developed by Millie and Keys the original game developer of the Free City Game. Which was stolen by Antione the guy who runs the company named Soonami in the movie.
Guy falls in love with millie, but this character was programmed by “Keys” to show his love to Millie, which we discover at the end of the movie.
Can a NPC become a self aware AI?
Games have moved from looking like this to this in less than half a century.
- Gaming technology has improved a lot
- The NPC in recent games has become smarter when compared to the old games.
- Also, the graphics have become more realistic, the surroundings, buildings, everything almost looks real.
- The artificial intelligence used in the game is also improved, but not to the extent where an NPC becomes self-aware AI.
- The AI used in games and the AI used in self-driving cars and other technology is different. AI in games are just used to improve the gameplay, and not really to learn anything on its own, unlike self-driving car AI.
- So the Free city game in the Free Guy movie is quite far ahead of its time.
- Though there is a technique called Procedural generation, in this technique computers can design and develop a complete game from the scratch.
What is Procedural Generation?
Though this topic requires a separate article, I will explain in short here and write a detailed article in near future.
- Procedural Generation uses a Mathematical algorithm to generate content.
- You write certain rules and procedures around the computer random number generator, which gives you an infinite amount of worlds with your specifications.
- In simple terms, the game can develop content using the program a developer has written. This is purely done using an algorithm.
- A game known as No Man’s Sky is developed using Procedural Generation. Its a space game and has 18 Quintillion planets in its universe
- There are quite a few games created using Procedural Generation, you can see the list here.
- Procedural Generation helps reduce the size of the game because the area is only visible when the player visits it, as everything is generated on the fly.
- This creates each playthrough unique with some distinct elements each and every time a player plays.
- But it’s not about just programming, to make an NPC self-aware Artificial intelligence, you need consciousness, and we have not created a single AI that has conscious yet.
- So does that mean it is impossible for an NPC (Non-playable character) to be self-aware AI, I am afraid the answer is Yes for now.
- When we have Machines that will have conscious then we might be able to understand how did it got it and then might be able to program it.
- Though this seems farfetched and there is no definitive proof of this happening in decades to come. But on the other hand, game technology has evolved quickly.
- As a guy who loves to play games, I really want to see something like this happening in the game, I would want to see how the gameplay would change because of this.