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The next MotoGP game will use neural networks

MotoGP 19, the official video game of, err, MotoGP, will release on June 6, and it will include some pretty fancy tech, that sounds like it’s from the Matrix, and hasn’t been used in a video game before. Neural networks.

Neural networks sound super fancy, and I didn’t really know what it meant, so I did some research. Googled it. If you’re smarter than me, which you probably are, you can skip the next paragraph. Although to be fair, the T-800 above pretty much nails it.

According to Skymind, an Artificial Intelligence company:

Neural networks are a set of algorithms, modelled loosely after the human brain, that are designed to recognise patterns.

Milestone, the developer behind MotoGP 19, claim their use of neural AI and machine learning enables to computer-controlled riders to exploit your mistakes. Keep scrubbing off a little too much speed at the end of the back straight at Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo? The AI will figure that out and ride round the outside of you.*

As a motorcyclist and gamer, this all sound pretty exciting, although I’ll reserve judgement until I get a chance to have my arse whooped by a machine learning version of Valentino Rossi.

What else is new for the latest MotoGP game?

Milestone have also announced the latest game will get dedicated servers, and a new Race Director mode, which will give you the power to create your own race with your own rules. It hasn’t been revealed how expansive those rule changes will go, but expect it to stay pretty close to reality. MotoGP 19 is a simulation game, after all.

You’ll be able to design your own helmet, back patch, and race number. This is something that sounds trivial, but it’ll be much better than choosing from a bunch of boring, standardised helmet designs and rubbish fonts.

Full disclosure here, the most recent Milestone game I played was Valentino Rossi: The Game, which came out in 2016. Why? Well, Milestone might be the only game developer creating motorcycle games on a regular basis, but they’ve never really cut the mustard for me. They’ve always felt light on features, the engine sounds have always been a bit pants, and the graphics, physics and AI always felt a couple of years behind everything else. But Milestone are a relatively small company tasked with creating an annual franchise, so I should probably cut them a bit of slack, right?

*Probably.

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