E-AI / Entertain-AI 2022: The video game recap

E AI 2022 Featured Ecran Partage

On 14 and 15 June 2022, the E-AI convention took place at the Palais des Congrès.

It was an opportunity to bring together players from the entertainment and artificial intelligence industries.

E-AI is an event that was scheduled to take place in 2020, like many things, but has been cancelled due to the pandemic. This allowed the organizers to contact more potential partners and increase the production of the event. In 2021, they managed to organize a virtual event of more than 150 people belonging to the industry of artificial intelligence.

For information, here are the abbreviations that we will use in this article including:
AI = “artificial intelligence” in English, and corresponds to artificial intelligence in French
AI = artificial intelligence

The 2022 event took place in the OASIS Immersion part of the Palais des Congrès. This section has the particularity of having projectors that project an image on each of the walls and floors of the rooms.

One room was dedicated to meetings between professionals, another to face-to-face conferences, and the last to conferences broadcast online, including headsets to connect to the desired broadcast channel.

E-AI Image 1 Shared Screen
Online conference room. Photo credits: Marc Shakour / Shared Screen

While it was interesting to participate in the event, I regret unfortunately that the seats and chairs chosen in each room were particularly uncomfortable. Listening to the lectures for hours then became painful for many people.

Apart from that, the many conferences, workshops and speakers were exciting.

The video game was naturally present in the discussions of several conferences:

Using AI to understand the player experience and improve accessibility in video games

AI has been built into games for a long time, but how do you use it outside of the game to improve it?”

In this conference of the company Beam Me Up , the participants showed the devices, and software that can improve the experience of the player, in particular by analyzing the brain signals thanks to an EEG (Electroencephalogram).

E-AI Image 2 Shared Screen
Conference room in person. Photo credits: Marc Shakour / Shared Screen

AI in video games: virtual beings and their implementation

“What is the difference between gaming AI and machine learning and how are they both used to create fake humans for an audience of real humans.”

In this conference from the company Stockholm Syndrome AI , participants briefly presented how AI works in video games. They talked about the difference between scripting and machine learning. They also showed how a character controlled by an AI entity that learns by playing would work, in the game Street Fighter 2. In video games, non-playable characters (NPCs) must be credible enough for players, so as not to break the immersion. This can go through the animation of the NPC, the facial expression, its appearance. Everything must be coherent to enhance the world of the game. The presentation was punctuated with humor with examples of AI behaviors that were not predicted by humans.

E-AI Image 4 Shared Screen
Meeting room. Photo credits: Marc Shakour / Shared Screen

There was also a workshop talking about video games: “Times Square: Creating a Captivating and Immersive Experience Through Game Technology”, presented by video game development studio Behaviour Interactive.

The workshops were opportunities to brainstorm ideas between participants in relation to the topics presented by the facilitators. Many workshops were held on June 15, people were then placed in small groups, and could debate for about fifteen minutes. It was also an opportunity for participants to break the ice and get to know each other.

Throughout the event, many questions about AI were naturally asked, especially in relation to its potential danger, its impact, its legislation.

Speaker Ricardo Baeza-Yates , also mentioned the fact that:
“After World War 1, chemical weapons were banned”
“After World War 2, nuclear weapons were banned”
“Is it necessary to wait until a 3rd world war for weapons derived from artificial intelligence to be banned?”

E-AI Image 3 Shared Screen
Photo credits: Marc Shakour / Shared Screen

It was interesting to see that the participants weren’t just completely amazed by the technological advances of AI and its industry. Some have questioned its usefulness in a world in the midst of global warming, which has been in shortage of semiconductors for years. “Why continue to accumulate and constantly perfect algorithms, machines, if we do not find solutions to slow down the climate disaster we are creating?”

While everyone was realistic about the current planetary situation, the E-AI event was mostly an opportunity to celebrate the AI industry. Many participants were delighted to meet employees and researchers from other companies in the field. They have indeed been able to realize that they face the same challenges and problems and that they can help each other to progress.

The opportunities created and contacts forged by this event are great and necessary. The AI industry doesn’t seem to have another unifying event like this.

E-AI in this 2022 edition brought together more than 350 participants. The organizers intend to continue to federate this community.

About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

View all posts by Marc Shakour