It’s time to duel! Well, at least for our new robot friends. Konami has announced that an AI has been taught to identify all 9000+ Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. So the robot tech will know their Blue Eyes White Dragon from their Wingweaver and their Dark Magician from their Pot of Greed. But what does this mean for gaming and AI?
The AI was revealed at this year’s meeting of the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association and presented as an important technological advancement. The Japanese games industry is expected to be enhanced as a result of this game-changing information. The AI spent four or five days studying every card, which had been created as a computer-generated version. The accuracy was 100 per cent after the studying.
Konami calls the way in which the AI learned to identify the cards translucent composite learning. Each element of the card was learned separately and then combined so the AI understood exactly what the card was and meant. Google’s DeepMind program in 2016 taught an AI to play Go! While Deep Blue, the chess robot, beating Kasparov at chess in 1996 showed the beginnings of what AI can do.
Konami – meaning Little Waves in Japanese – also posted their most profitable year yet with almost $2 billion. That makes an advance of 4.2 per cent over the last fiscal year. Digital gaming entertainment has provided the company with its largest profits and dictates how progressive the gaming sphere can be. This is huge for a company that began as a repair and jukebox rental business. Konami has a hand in everything including online gaming, marketing computer software by 1982 before the company decided to enter into the home game consoles sector. They also keep their hand in traditional card games with Yu-Gi-Oh! Plus, the company owns a series of video games, seeing continued success from their 1981 launch into the industry with modern titles including Metal Gear Solid, Dance Dance Revolution and Pro Evolution Soccer that bring in their high revenue.
The next stage would obviously be the ability to play the cards. Not only smart AI recognizing the features of the card’s designs, but being able to implement them using strategic thinking throughout the game would show the extent to which AI can be utilized. Playing the still popular franchise Yu-Gi-Oh! Can be fairly complex and ensuring you play the right card at the right time affects your chance of winning.
Konami has attempted an AI card identifier before. The last time, the AI could only identify around 50 per cent of the cards after nearly a month of studying them. The success means that the technology for deploying AI into other fields is there and could be properly utilized throughout the games industry.
This comes as part of a successful year for Konami. Earlier in the year, they announced they were possibly considering making another Zone of the Enders game. Tied up with Cygames, the pair stated that sales from the PC/PS4 remaster of the game would inform whether they would go ahead with the project.
The AI’s ability to identify 9000+ Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards might seem impressive – but skeptics are still awaiting the next step in AI. The card counting may just be the start of something that is likely to improve and provide a meaningful way to change our lives. It may start with Yu-Gi-Oh!, but there’s no saying where it will end.