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Artificial Intelligence bots are to confront video game bullies

19 : 05 : 2017 Digital : Technology : Gaming

Global – Spirit AI has developed virtual entities that confront troublemakers in real time during gameplay.

Developers can incorporate its Ally product into their games to monitor both verbal and non-verbal player interactions.

Kuri by Mayfield Robotics, US Kuri by Mayfield Robotics, US

If for example, a player's avatar was being virtually stalked by someone they didn't know this would be flagged up.

'We’re looking at interaction patterns, combined with natural-language classifiers, rather than relying on a list of individual keywords,' Ruxandra Dariescu, a developer at Ally told Technology Review.

If the software identifies bullying behaviour it checks the players' previous interactions to establish whether the put-downs are likely camaraderie between friends. The system then sends an avatar to ascertain from the player whether they are ok.

The bot, which has been developed to make the world of gaming a more inclusive one, has received a mixed reception. While some see it as an unwelcome intrusion into the virtual landscape, it does demonstrate a significant step in moving on the discussion around how to instigate a social framework within a digital space.

The brand's aim to nurture 'safer and more inclusive' online environments, can be applied not just to gaming but also incorporated into chatrooms and social platforms.

The Big Picture

  • By 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse, according to Gartner. For more on this see our Friend Bots microtrend.
  • The global audience for video games is rapidly growing as tournaments, live-streaming channels, new technologies and forms of storytelling come online.