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The Power of Unity in AI

The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is becoming ever more profound in the world of gaming, and it is becoming such a powerful force, that its abilities and attributes are now starting to leak out into the non-gaming world, where their full benefits can really be felt.

Many genres of game are making great use of heuristic scripting to invoke more realistic and natural responses from non-playable characters (NPCs) within the game. NPCs are essential elements within a game that are used to convey information or supply artifacts to push the game forward, or simply as combative cannon-fodder in punch-ups. But of late – that is the last few years – AI in games has kicked up a couple of gears and is now best described as quite awesome.

The fact is that games are a proving ground for systems like AI, and parts of the same technology are then transposed into other areas of technology. Think of gaming systems as being a place where developers can try out their new tricks ahead of using similar code in other applications. In fact, some technology companies are so convinced of the link that they insist that any AI application that they help develop is entrenched in gaming. And Unity is one of the top platforms for the testing of gaming AI.

Cross Compass are a holistic software developer, who help third-party companies integrate new processes and software solutions into their businesses, and they are increasingly looking at AI as a major part of their solutions. The Tokyo-based company have been helping other companies establish and realise their business needs and are convinced that AI can be a part of their operations.  Take, for instance, their “MANUFACIA” bespoke tool that can be used to integrate AI operations into the manufacturing environment of SME’s. This stand-alone tool can be used to create manufacturing and production solutions in any fast-moving business.

But Cross Compass are not simply a company offering machine learning for manufacturing solutions, and the company is dedicated to introducing AI into an increasing number of areas, and impacting on society in many new ways. With robotics taking an ever-greater position in many parts of society, the software that drives them becomes increasingly important. The aim here is not necessarily to make these machines ever more autonomous, but to help them understand if something is different and potentially going wrong. By understanding what ‘good’ looks like, systems using this level of machine learning will understand when a process starts to deviate from good. Cross Compass knew what they wanted but weren’t sure of how to drive it. That was when they looked to how AI is used in gaming, and took a cue from Unity.

Unity is regarded as the market leader in real-time 3D development platforms, even more so since their recent collaboration with DeepMind, the world leader in AI research. DeepMind researchers had been trying to crack a number of AI problems associated with AI in different applications, and Unity provided them with a way of creating complex virtual environments that enables the development of algorithms capable of learning to solve complex tasks across diverse environments. The upside of this is that the resulting AI advances get fed back into Unity itself, making it a powerful development circle. This makes Unity a powerful tool for AI development, and makes it the system of choice for companies like Cross Compass.

In a development situation, creating a process that is 99% accurate is considered to be an excellent result, but in a manufacturing business environment, having 1% failure is utterly unacceptable. AI can help a manufacturing business ensure that if failures could happen due to system issues, smart manufacturing is more likely to pick it up before it happens, all thanks to Unity.