AI's Grand Challenge: Can Machines Master All Games?

  • AS Team
  • Nov 17, 2023
AI's Grand Challenge: Can Machines Master All Games? title banner

AI has been seeping into almost all aspects of our lives. But there’s one aspect AI has already been present for a long time: gaming. It’s just that with each passing day, the influence of AI has been increasing in the gaming world. In their blog post, ExpressVPN revealed how a controlled environment and creative freedom within video games present an ideal testing ground for AI without real-world risks.


In this article, we'll explore how AI has not only become a dominant force in gaming but also serves as a crucial platform for its continuous evolution. Games provide an environment rich in challenges, strategy, and decision-making, making them the perfect playground for AI to refine its capabilities. Can AI truly master all types of games?


Can AI Achieve Mastery In All Types Of Games?


As of now, AI has already achieved mastery in some types of games. For example, when it comes to chess and checkers, AI has beaten the world champions in their own game. Given how fun a touch of AI can be in different games, it is being included in video games like Gran Turismo and Starcraft. 


But here, the main question still remains: can AI achieve mastery in all types of games out there? The answer to this question lies in analyzing the role of AI in gaming up till this point and the advancements that there have been in the field. 


After this, we will also have to look into how AI is used in different games and how much of a champion it is in them. Besides this, it is also important to look into the current limitations AI has in gaming. Once all this is done, we will be able to answer our question at hand. So, for all of this, stay tuned till the end! 


Timeline Of AI In Gaming


The introduction of AI into gaming can be credited to Alan Turing’s imitation game back in the ’50s. Turing raised a simple yet interesting question– can machines think? This was where the journey for the advancement of AI began. 


Several people took inspiration from Turing and made their own contributions to the matter at hand. For example, in 1951, Dietrich Prinz created the first digital rival of chess– Mate-in-Two. This was the birth of the chess-playing software. By 1952, with a little more advancement in AI, electronic computers were playing checkers. 


Turing’s innovation set the stage for further developments and research that explored the intersection of human intelligence and the capabilities of a machine. It challenged everything that was already known about machines and intelligence. The world was now in pursuit of developing machines that could imitate human cognition. 


And so, in 1959, the term “machine learning” was introduced by Arthur Samuel. Then, based on this, a Checkers-playing program, unlike any other out there, was introduced. No, it wasn’t perfect. But again, it was something that was used as a foundation for something greater in the future. 


The next major milestone in the AI game came in 1997 when IBM’s Deep Blue went down in history for defeating Garry Kasparov at chess, thereby becoming the first AI to do so. Then, in 2011, the world again was left awe-struck when IBM’s Watson surpassed the best of human minds at a game shadow called Jeopardy, all thanks to its natural language processing capabilities. 


There have been many more AI gaming victories in recent years. AI has revolutionized various video games and is ranked among human experts using a combination of game theory and deep reinforcement learning. 


How AI Has Mastered Different Games


Given how successful AI has been in gaming, you must be wondering how all these victories came into being. What made AI a champion? Well, huge credit goes to AI labs, like those at Sony or Google, that helped in developing techniques that further empowered and enabled computers to become masters at board games and video games. 


Apart from techniques, new algorithms have been created that make AI more powerful than ever. For example, NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies (NEAT) is a genetic algorithm introduced by Kenneth Stanley, the former team lead at OpenAI. 


This genetic algorithm is being used to perform real-time calculations in video games like NERO and Mario Bros. This is because NEAT very easily takes on player action when the game is being played. 


As mentioned before, using AI in games ensures that AI becomes even better. Because, more often than not, these games are used as testing grounds for recent developments. In comparison to robotic hardware, it’s way easier and more economical to do AI experimentation in games. And, of course, with rapid experimentation comes the rapid development of AI. 


Limitations Of AI In Gaming


Although there have been plenty of commendable advancements in AI gaming, there are still some areas that AI struggles with. And these areas can very well be taken as AI’s limitations. 


For example, Settlers of Catan, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), and Cards Against Humanity are some of the major games that challenge AI. Furthermore, even though AI is said to defeat human minds and capabilities in most video games out there, Gran Turismo, Pokémon, and Monopoly are some of the games where humans still get to win


This means that even though AI can master all games, it will still struggle with games that have real-life complexity, for example, designing machines and rockets. Anything that involves the usage of creativity or more freedom will become a challenge for AI. However, whether this changes in the future or not is yet to be seen. 


To counter this problem, researchers have been trying to develop AGI, i.e., Artificial General Intelligence. It is said that this will help AI do any task with the same capability as humans. However, to make this happen, the training methods that need to be used still remain unknown. AI also needs to be taught originality since it truly never has come up with something unique of its own, something that nobody has ever thought of before. 


AI’s problems originate from data availability. Huge volumes of data are required to make AI training possible, and the unavailability of the same happens to be one of its limitations. Furthermore, AI also struggles with non-verbal tasks, given its heavy dependency on verbal inputs. 




By now, you must have understood one thing: AI has revolutionized gaming in the way humans themselves never could. Despite this fact, AI still happens to come with its limitations that are yet to be resolved. Once researchers and developers manage to develop AI further, you can expect gaming to become more immersive than ever. 


However, this isn’t something that you need to be scared of. AI is a tool that we need to accept and embrace sans fear, for it can be a tool to amplify our capabilities.

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