Everyone seems to be talking about AI, or artificial intelligence these days. The term covers a wide range of computer science applications but essentially it is about the creation of smart machinery that can perform tasks that traditionally would have required human intelligence. We are now surrounded and accustomed to machines which seem to think for us. When Alan Turing asked the question ‘Can Machines Think?” back in 1950 he may not have been envisaging chat bots, self-driving cars or Siri and Alexa. At that time, a computer would have needed a room the size of a house to operate in. Nowadays, the power of the processor in our pockets is phenomenal and something most of us take for granted.
Computer Science sounds like a serious discipline, which of course it is but AI has led to some innovations that have made the world of gaming a more fun place to hang out. The original computer game Pong was regarded as breakthrough in the seventies – and that was just two two-dimensional paddles batting a two-dimensional ball backwards and forwards on a monochrome screen.
From there the gaming industry exploded with competing games consoles and ‘video games’ on cartridges and later CD-ROMs. The introduction of smart phones essentially gave everyone a handheld gaming device. All you had to do now was to download the games from the App Store and you were ready to play. For those who preferred to keep their game play on a larger screen the games console and gaming PC have remained key pieces of equipment. A huge change to how gaming works, however, has been, cloud-based streaming. This has been a ‘gamechanger’. No longer is the gamer reliant on the amount of storage they have locally, and the next big step will be cloud based gaming. Gaming tablets that will allow cross-platform gaming will help sort out the issues of software compatibility.
Technology continues to improve the safety of online transactions. The internet has become a place where people have become confident to make purchases. This has been boosted by the introduction of both digital wallets and payment apps. This allows for secure, lightning-fast transactions for in game purchases or for people to have the confidence to make deposits at online casinos and sports betting sites. Polish online casinos now offer players many different payment options through digital wallets, bitcoin, and other payment apps such as BLIK. The most reputable companies are now offering mobile versions of their casinos and sports betting platforms allowing players to have a flutter wherever they want.
One could not talk about AI innovations in gaming without mentioning VR. While VR headsets were first invented over twenty-five years ago, it is only fairly recently that they have been able to live up to their own expectation and hype. Now it is genuinely possible to put on a headset and enter an immersive, hyper-real world. Instead of just watching stories playout you are part of them. Headsets that are linked to IR powered motion game controllers which do away with the need for traditional keyboards and controllers. The latest technology allows the gaming experience to become an extension of ourselves.
Facial recognition has also transformed the gaming experience. This has massively reduced the risk of cyber fraud and hacking as the user is their own password. It is assumed that this will continue to be used more by game developers and across various platforms.
Other technologies are now becoming common place in the gaming world include items of wearable technology from glasses and headphones to the fully immersive Oculus headset which transports the wearer into the Metaverse. Voice recognition is another technology which is now taken for granted but as little as five years ago was regarded as pretty ‘out there’. Gamers can simply talk to their controlling device, be it Alexa or Siri, to search the web, browse social media and show off their latest high scores.