Sony has unveiled a new "superhuman AI agent" that is designed to race competitively against the best Gran Turismo racers around the world by using physical realism, real-time race tactics and sports etiquette.
Developed by Polyphony Digital and Sony AI, the new artificial intelligence – known as Gran Turismo Sophy – was announced during Sony's Race Together Media Event. Sophy advances through deep reinforcement learning, where it records the speed, positions and environment during a race before then actioning either the throttle, steering or brake via a positive or negative signal sent to the AI.
Two Gran Turismo racing events were held in July 2021 and October 2021, where Sophy faced off against four of the best human GT drivers across three tracks and car combinations. The human racers won the first set of races, however, Sophy learned from the loss and comfortably won in the second set of races - coming first all three times, according to Sony. The AI has specifically been trained via Gran Turismo Sport.
"Gran Turismo Sophy is a significant development in AI whose purpose is not simply to be better than human players, but to offer players a stimulating opponent that can accelerate and elevate the players’ techniques and creativity to the next level," said Sony AI CEO Hiroaki Kitano. He further added that the AI would look to present new opportunities across autonomous racing and driving as well as high-speed robotics and control.
As part of Gran Turismo 7, Sophy will help coach players at driving and also appear as a friend during races. Furthermore, players can teach the AI about "sportspersonship". Gran Turismo Sophy will be made rolled out to GT7 in a future update.
Meanwhile, Sony looks to extend its AI technology to further partners and game studios in the "mid to long-term". A movie going behind the scenes on Gran Turismo Sophy will be uploaded to the official GT website (opens in new tab).
Gran Turismo 7 is set to launch across PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on March 4th, 2022.