Unity has announced its collaboration with Deepmind to develop virtual environments for advancing Artificial Intelligence. They will be creating virtual environments for developing and testing experimental algorithms.
This announcement is basically a broad agreement between the two companies with not much information disclosed about their actual intentions at this point.
Unity is the most widely-used real-time development platform, powering 60% of all AR/ VR content and 50% of all mobile games worldwide. With this partnership, they are taking the initial steps toward becoming the general platform for the development of intelligent agents and creating simulation environments. These virtual environments will be used to generate and capture synthetic data for different automotive and industrial verticals.
Unity has been exploring Artificial Intelligence for quite some time now. Earlier this month, they released a new version of their ML-Agents toolkit to more easily integrate ML-Agents environments into their training workflows among other things. They also have a TensorFlow based algorithm to allow game developers to easily train intelligent agents for 2D, 3D, and VR/ AR games. These trained agents are then used for controlling the NPC behavior within games.
DeepMind is also not new to games. Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, says “Games and simulations have been a core part of DeepMind’s research programme from the very beginning and this approach has already led to significant breakthroughs in AI research.” In 2016, Deepmind’s AlphaGo emerged as the victor in a Go match scoring 4-1 after defeating South Korean Go champion, Lee Sedol. Another one of their programs, AlphaGo Zero perfected its Go and Chess skills simply by playing against itself iteratively.
Alongside its work to train AI agents for playing games, DeepMind has also developed AI for spotting over 50 sight-threatening eye diseases and has recently developed Dopamine, a Tensorflow-based framework for Reinforcement Learning.