# How to save billions in game development?

### Where’s the solution?

Enter reinforcement learning (RL): one of the most active research topics in AI and machine learning (ML).

RL can optimise sequential decision making in complex, uncertain environments. Some may still believe the myth that RL is not ready for practical applications, especially where the state of the environment isn’t completely observable. They’re wrong: the powerful beast of RL is difficult - but no longer impossible - to tame.

DeepMind demonstrated this with AlphaGo.   And VocalIQ, where I worked with RL researcher Dr Dongho Kim, proved reinforcement learning could be tamed for commercial outcomes even in partially observable situations like human conversation. That’s why Apple acquired the company.

Now PROWLER.io is building platforms that get around the problem of handcrafting complicated behaviour trees. Dongho and I, along with co-founder Aleksi Tukiainen and a growing team of top-flight researchers, are applying RL’s decision-making frameworks to complex,  multidimensional scenarios.  The resulting platforms will allow game companies to use game-play data to build AI-bots that are self-learning and autonomous, yet tuneable and controllable. In complex FPS or MMORPG games, for example, non-player characters (NPCs) will be able to engage and entertain with surprisingly complex behaviours.

For players, autonomous bots can improve the gaming experience by:

• adding (tuneable) unpredictability to games to keep them from getting boring;
• handling very sophisticated and complex decision making;
• evolving as the game evolves.

For developers, machine learning can cut time to market - and save billions - by:

• dramatically reducing NPC development time;
• enabling faster cycle times through accelerated feedback and 24/7 testing at computer speeds;
• doing rapid, robust, functional verification through simulated play;
• optimising performance verification and load testing with repeatable, virtual stress tests;
• assisting human testers in coordinated teams.

That’s how PROWLER.io can bring gaming back to the future.

And games are just the start. In 1888, Bertha Benz used her husband’s invention to become the first person to drive a car over a long distance. Some hundred and thirty years later we’re looking to apply Prowler.io’s technologies to robots, drones - in fact any autonomous system that requires complex decision making. And that includes self-driving cars.

More on that later.