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Gran Turismo Sophy - An AI Breakthrough

In recent history, there have been a number of breakthroughs in AI ranging from those that have mastered strategy games such as chess, shogi, and Go to more complex, real-time multiplayer strategy games.

Gran Turismo Sophy - a superhuman AI that outraced the world's top drivers, now joins this mix with the publication of the paper titled Outracing Champion Gran Turismo Drivers with Deep Reinforcement Learning published in the Feb 10th edition of Nature.

However, unlike previous milestones in AI, Gran Turismo Sophy is unique because it demonstrates the power of AI in delivering new gaming and entertainment experiences to the world.

Here is what Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony Group Corporation has to say about Gran Turismo Sophy.

"Gran Turismo Sophy is truly unique to Sony. With Sony being a creative entertainment company, we built this game AI agent for gamers," mentions Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO of Sony Group Corporation, in his video message.

nature Read the Nature paper here.

Hiroaki Kitano, CEO of Sony AI and head of the AI research in Sony Group, shares his thoughts on this achievement, "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. At Sony AI our aim is not to replace humans with AI but to create artificial intelligence that will unleash the power of human imagination and creativity."

What kind of AI is Gran Turismo Sophy?

Gran Turismo Sophy was developed by a team of researchers and engineers from Sony AI in collaboration with, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Polyphony Digital, the developers behind the hit franchise Gran Turismo.

Using novel deep reinforcement learning techniques, Gran Turismo Sophy mastered the highly realistic PlayStation®4 racing simulation game, Gran Turismo™ Sport and became proficient with the driving skills needed to compete with the world's best championship-level Gran Turismo drivers.

Race Car Control : Operating at the edge. GT Sophy acquired a deep understanding of car dynamics, racing lines, and precision maneuvers to conquer challenging tracks. Racing Tactics : Split-second decision-making. GT Sophy showed mastery of tactics including slipstream passing, crossover passes and even some defensive maneuvers such as blocking. Racing Etiquette : Essential for fair play. GT Sophy learned to conform to highly refined, yet imprecisely specified, racing etiquette rules including avoiding at-fault collisions and respecting opponent driving lines.

The fact that Gran Turismo Sophy was built to elevate the gamers experience is also evident from below comments from Kazunori Yamauchi, the President of Polyphony Digital as well as the top Gran Turismo drivers who played against Gran Turismo Sophy.

"The goal of Gran Turismo Sophy is not to surpass humans through technology, but rather to be an AI that entertains and can be a companion for people."

"I completely forgot that I was playing against an AI. It was really fun. I want to race with the agent more in the future."
Takuma Miyazono, FIA Gran Turismo Championships 2020 Champion
"It was really exciting to see GT Sophy's racing technique. I got a lot of inspiration from her."
Emily Jones, FIA Gran Turismo Championships 2020 World Finalist

See Gran Turismo Sophy in action

Since seeing is believing, take a look at these videos that talk about the Making of Gran Turismo Sophy and the races in which Gran Turismo Sophy competed against the top Gran Turismo Sport drivers.

Making of Gran Turismo Sophy
Race Day 1
Race Day 2

What's Next?

Gran Turismo Sophy is a unique Sony group collaboration where each group contributed to the success of the project, by bringing together expertise in fundamental AI research and development, a hyper-realistic driving simulator and infrastructure for massive scale AI training.

Since Gran Turismo Sophy is Sony AI's first project, we look forward to sharing more news with you in the future.

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