AI is Asserting Dominance in the World of eSports

In 1997, IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue defeated the World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov to assert machine dominance in the world of chess. In 2017, the AI supercomputer Alpha Go, defeated the world Go champion Ke Jie and now the machines reign supreme in the world of Go as well. Fast forward to 2021 and we see a new achievement of AI, this time in the world of esports. Let’s take a closer look at what AI was able to accomplish and the data annotation that was required to create it. 

Driving Virtual Cars Like a Human

Some of the world’s best drivers competed against AI in the game Gran Turismo 7, which is a series of racing simulation video games developed by Polyphony Digital. Among the human competitors was Takuma Miyazo, who became the Gran Turismo world champion, winning an unprecedented ‘triple crown’ of esports motor racing events. However, even he was no match for GT Sophie, an AI driver developed by Sony and Polyphony Digital, the studio behind the Gran Turismo franchise.

The AI was able to evaluate and execute complicated decisions with lightning speed and master the racing lines of three Gran Turismo Sport tracks down to the millimeter. Also, just as importantly, was also able to calculate the proper driving etiquette i.e. hard and aggressive driving that still plays fair and observes the spirit of rules as much, if not more than, the letter of what is legally allowed.

GT Sophy Rouge, the pole-sitter, led wire-to-wire and won by 5.8 seconds over Tomoaki Yamanaka (2021 TGR GT Cup champion); Rouge’s fastest lap was 1:54.373, more than two seconds faster than Yamanaka’s best at 1:56.422. For the uninitiated, both are absolutely dominating margins, especially given the level of competition.

What are the Implications for Real-World Autonomous Driving? 

The type of decision-making while on the road could prove useful for developing autonomous vehicles. After all, a self-driving car also needs to make all kinds of complex decisions while on the road and choose when to drive aggressively or passively. However, there are still some issues that need to be overcome if such algorithms will be used in real-world driving. First of all, it’s hard for GT Sophy to consider the long-term implications of decisions, and because it’s hard to guarantee the safety or reliability of such algorithms. Safety concerns are one of the biggest reasons why we are not seeing more and more autonomous cars on the road today. 

After all, the decisions an autonomous car makes in the real world are much more consequential than the ones in a video game. 

What Data Annotation Was Required to Make Such an AI Product? 

Such advanced AI systems require lots of training data which needs to be annotated for the system to learn about the objective of the video game and how best to achieve it. Usually, video games require 2D box annotation for the system to identify all of the objects in the game. Also, a lot of times event tracking is necessary since it teaches the system the path the car can take. This can be the optimal path or other potential paths and it would be up to the algorithm to calculate the best one. This requires data annotators to break down the video into frames and annotate each frame. 

It is worth noting that this is one of the most time-consuming forms of data annotation since even a video that’s only one minute long can be shot in 60 frames per second (fps). Since there are 60 seconds and also 60 frames per second, you can do the math in terms of the volume of data annotation this will require. Fortunately, you can outsource such work to a service provider like Mindy Support to do this work for you. 

Trust Mindy Support With All of Your Data Annotation Needs

Annotating large volumes of data in-house, such as the amount mentioned above, can be very tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. It’s also unnecessary since you can outsource such work to a service provider like Mindy Support. We are a global company for data annotation services and business process outsourcing, trusted by several Fortune 500 and GAFAM companies, as well as innovative startups. With nine years of experience under our belt and offices and representatives in Cyprus, Poland, Romania, The Netherlands, India, and Ukraine, Mindy Support’s team now stands strong with 2000+ professionals helping companies with their most advanced data annotation challenges. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you

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    May 4th, 2022

    Mindy News Blog