EA's SEED Division Creates Self-Learning Battlefield 1 AI for Bot Play and Bug Testing

Written by Stuart Thomas on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 5:01 PM
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Should we be worried about EA creating self-learning AI? Probably, but it’s very neat anyway. EA has set up a Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division (SEED) that is looking to explore the future of gaming, beginning with developing a self-learning AI agent that’s teaching itself how to play Battlefield 1 multiplayer.

A complex neural network is running the entire match in the footage below. Every single soldier is AI controlled, learning from its experiences and becoming better and better with each and every game it plays.

Hmm, I guess there’s still some learning to be done. The AI can get almighty confused while it learns, although this does help us understand the pain the truly terrible Battlefield players are going through. Looking at the scoreboards there are always three or four people with about 1 kill / 34 deaths who are clearly in need of some machine learning.

Anyway, SEED technical director Magnus Nordin is pulling the strings on this one, explaining that the team has “conducted playtests, pitting AI agents against human players in a simplified game mode, restricted to handguns. While the human players outperformed the agents, it wasn’t a complete blowout by any stretch.

“The agent is pretty proficient at the basic Battlefield gameplay, and has taught itself to alter its behavior depending on certain triggers, like being low on ammo or health. But Battlefield is about so much more than defeating your opponents. There’s a lot of strategy involved, stuff like teamwork, knowing the map and being familiar with individual classes and equipment. We will have to extend the capabilities of the agents further for the AI to be able to crack these nuts.”

The next major obstacle is to tackle the AI’s forward planning. In its current incarnation it’ll shoot on sight, or run towards an objective, but it’s not smart enough to hide and wait for a big group to go past, or to go out of its way to a quiet objective point. The bots here have been subjected to 300 days of total gameplay experience, although there’s a long way to go until they can become top tier players.

All of these problems should be ironed out with time though, and it could well inform offline bot-play for future DICE titles. SEED is thinking a little more outside the box with its plans though, and the first intention is to use these AI NPCs to perform quality assurance and bug testing, letting them loose in endless matches to farm far more crash reports than would be possible from human testers. After this, their “aim is to help create new experiences that enhance games and make them more fun. Getting owned by a superior AI isn’t necessarily that fun for players in the long run.”

Could self-learning bots be the future of offline play? If bots could mimic human behaviour, would there even be a need for human opponents? 

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23:55 Mar-26-2018

love the idea of this but just watch ea release this as dlc :P

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17:33 Mar-26-2018

So.... EA is giving the skills to learn tactics and the use of weapons to an AI? Skynet, is that you?

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23:22 Mar-28-2018

Hahaha! EA is going to create bots to enslave humanity. The year is 2050, EA is now selling people lives for 50 bucks. Buy or Die!

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00:03 Mar-29-2018

don't forget clothes are additionally $5 each and color options are $2 each gotta have that dlc for dlc XD

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19:18 Mar-25-2018

I missed offline bot play its a shame they got rid of it later on cause even battlefield 1942 had bot play so did battlefield to and battlefield Vietnam

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05:58 Mar-24-2018

If bots can kick pro dota2 player's ass, then it'd be fun playing with advanced bots like that.

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05:31 Mar-24-2018

Oh I've wanted Bots back for years in BF games, but now they are even self-learning, which is what I've always wanted for bots. I might just go back and play BF1 if they release them to the public.

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19:19 Mar-25-2018

whats the last battlefield game that had offline bot ai playable?

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20:16 Mar-25-2018

Battlefield 2142(with some patch I think) otherwise BF2 for sure.

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23:58 Mar-25-2018

alright thought so I played all the pc battlefields except for 2142

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03:47 Mar-24-2018

About A.I. Itself , I really wish there will be open A.I. project that allowed people to teach A.I. in any games they want. There will be communities dedicated to teach A.I. to play old classics that player based are already gone.

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23:32 Mar-23-2018

This could actually produce huge strides for A.I. in gaming, it's a very cool and ambitious project imo. I mean, we all 'learn' how normal A.I. behaves in games and we can adapt to it. But if it constantly learns, we could constantly be challenged to learn and grow as well. New meta. But then again, this is only a thing when the A.I. isn't just mindlessly running into walls :P

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22:32 Mar-23-2018

and just with that EA proved that bots are always cheating by knowing where we are

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21:51 Mar-23-2018

lol no one aims?

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21:10 Mar-23-2018

soon the AI will learn human toxicity and start swearing at people as they corrupt it haha

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21:34 Mar-25-2018

Inbefore they start swearing in russian.

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20:44 Mar-23-2018

So, AI controlled car killed a pedestrian recently and here they are teaching them how to fire guns and throw grenades. I would be not be surprised if this neural network turns out to be skynet.

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17:44 Mar-26-2018

I write the same thing before reading your post :D
Teaching how to kill people and military tactics to an A.I. doesn't sound very reasonable

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23:23 Mar-28-2018

If EA is behind this then it got to be something evil for sure.

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18:53 Mar-23-2018

At 1:08, that's not the AI going round in circles, it's their version of a T-bag.

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18:40 Mar-23-2018

Wow sweet. With this stuff going on games by 2020 would be based on real life npc behavior &#603

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