A new PlayStation patent lays out a concept for an AI that could be trained to play games by watching your play style, then take over if you're having trouble or just need a break.
Sony Interactive Entertainment filed the patent application (opens in new tab) in April 2020 and it was published earlier this month, as spotted by SegmentNext (opens in new tab), with the jaunty title of "Automated artificial intelligence (AI) control mode for playing specific tasks during gaming applications." The patent details a system which would create a default play profile for each user, then customize that profile by observing how each user plays across multiple games.
With this automatically trained model ready to go, players could then let it start playing games for them and instantly resume control whenever they want. The patent points out that this would be useful for players who can't finish a certain spot on their own - and for Trophy purists, it notes that the system could track these tasks "as being completed by the user with assistance from the AI game controller."
The patent even mentions a potential use for the AI play profile in competitive multiplayer games, letting players break away to eat or work while "their online presence is maintained." That could open up all kinds of issues with regard to cheating - and literally describes something that botters have been doing in violation of online games' terms of service for decades - but addressing potential issues like those are way beyond the scope of a patent application.
As for all tech patents, this application being published does not mean Sony will ever actually put out a product or service that does anything like what it describes. But just the fact that Sony has considered the idea of letting players activate digital doppelgangers to play video games for them is some fascinating sci-fi stuff, and well worth keeping an eye out for.
Speaking of playing games in odd new ways, another Sony patent described a method of turning a banana into a PlayStation controller.