Gran Turismo on PS5 Gets AI Driver Named GT Sophy

Yes, AI is coming for your video games.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google, Internet Culture
Imad Khan
2 min read
An AI-driven race car chases another AI-driven car in Sony's Gran Turismo 7 video game.

An AI-driven race car, Sophy Violette, chases another bot, Sophy Verte, in Sony's Gran Turismo 7 video game.

Sony; Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Non-human competition in Gran Turismo 7 on PS5 is about to get more realistic. Sony AI, in partnership with developer Polyphony Digital, will bring an AI agent named GT Sophy to the game on Nov. 1, at 11 p.m. PT, the company said in a press release on Wednesday. 

GT Sophy will be able to drive over 340 cars on nine different tracks and will work across 95% of custom player car models. While the initial goal of GT Sophy was to create a superhuman AI that could race around a track as fast as possible, Sony has since tweaked the AI to be more dynamic. So, for someone with a lower skill level, Sony says GT Sophy will still provide a dynamic and realistic racing opponent that also displays sportsmanship while not leaving the player as a blip in its rearview mirror. In early testing, Sony said players found GT Sophy's neural network-powered capabilities to strongly mimic those of a real driver. 

GT Sophy will dynamically change its racing abilities to match its human opponents.

Sony; GIF by Stephen Stephen Shankland/CNET

"Our mission at Sony AI has been to advance the research and development of AI to enhance human imagination and creativity as well as entertainment experiences," Michael Spranger, president at Sony AI, said in the press release.

With the launch of ChatGPT late last year, an AI chatbot that could answer seemingly any question with a novel answer, companies have been quick to launch their own AI products. The video game industry has used artificial intelligence for decades to simulate non-player characters but has been rigid in scope. Now, with the help of neural networks, computational models that mimic the brain's structure to recognize patterns in data and learn over time, AI in game development is becoming more dynamic and realistic as it can synthesize massive swaths of data through potentially trillions of parameters. 

Already, companies are testing new ways for AI to assist in game development. Nvidia has demoed AI technology that can help create character models and put more realistic non-player characters in games, giving players unique responses to interactions. 

A three-part documentary about GT Sophy is also available on YouTube. 

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to help create some stories. For more, see this post.