It appears as though PlayStation has plans for some sort of AI tool referred to as "Agents" that'll play games with or against people, according to Sony. Information about the plans was included in the latest strategy discussions from Sony Interactive Entertainment and referenced work being done with the Sony AI initiative to get the idea going. Details are slim right now on what this feature would be like, but Sony is of the mindset that this type of thing will make "game experiences even richer and more enjoyable."
The discussions about the AI Agents shown in Sony's latest presentation about its strategies (via IGN) were brief. Sony referenced the Sony AI team established in 2020 and said the group was working with PlayStation on this new feature. It was said Sony AI is using "reinforcement learning" to develop these Agents which indicates that these AI-controlled components will hopefully be smarter than your typical AI players get stuck with in games.
"And Sony AI, which we established last year, has begun a collaboration with PlayStation that will make game experiences even richer and more enjoyable," Sony said. "By leveraging reinforcement learning, we are developing Game AI Agents that can be a player's in-game opponent or collaboration partner."
While they're two different things entirely, Sony's Agents feature sounds like the next step beyond things like the "Activities" used in many PlayStation 5 games now. Those Activities featured tips and insights from the developers including videos, walkthroughs, and the ability to teleport right to locations to complete objectives. All of those consist of AI-assisted methods of accomplishing your goals if you accept the help, and it looks like Sony plans to incorporate AI into people's experiences even more in the future.
How that'll be handled, again, remains to be seen. How smart will the AI Agents really be, and where can they be used? Can you play against them in the latest FIFA game to simulate playing against a smarter opponent? Can they help you play It Takes Two or join your team in Fall Guys? It'll be interesting to see where the line's drawn with this feature whenever it's eventually implemented.
Sony's presentation also referenced the company's plans for its next virtual reality headset announced months ago with the upcoming hardware planned to incorporate "the latest sensing technology."