This may be the start of a small revolution in racing video games, which could well lead to finally credible single-player modes. Sony AI and the studio Polyphony Digital unveiled Sophiaan artificial intelligence capable of driving on the circuits of Gran Turismo 7 with a level of control worthy of the greatest automobile champions. It took no less than two years to develop this virtual driver capable of creating illusions and beating all circuit records.
The first project of the Sony AI division, Sophy is an AI that has gained expertise thanks to a deep reinforcement learning system (reinforcement learning) itself based on Sony Interactive Entertainment’s cloud infrastructure. The AI started without in-depth knowledge and accumulated “knowledge” by chaining the circuits. After dozens of hours of lapping around the track, Sophy ended up becoming a formidable driver, capable of developing a race strategy, knowing exactly when and where to pass an opponent, and adapting her driving style to the circuits and the quality of the pavement (wet, dry). After a few big packets of hours, Sophy was able to achieve almost perfect laps, as a professional pilot could have done (see video below)!
Unfortunately, Sophy will not be integrated into Gran Turismo 7 when the game launches. Kazunori Yamauchi, the big boss of Polyphony Digital, however, ensures that the AI will arrive later in the game via a simple update. Finished seeing the opposing cars doing “the little train” in the single player mode? Gran Turismo 7 will be available on PS4 and PS5 on March 4th.