Gabe Newell
"Over the next several years – and if you ask me, my little spreadsheet calculation is it’s about nine years – we’ll have artificial general intelligence that can do anything a smart person can do." - Gabe Newell

Artificial Intelligence is already smarter than most of us and that’s a fact. How advanced will they be in nine years? Gabe Newell has the answer.

Talking about OpenAI, the Dota 2 bots that can and have defeated almost every professional Dota 2 player in the world, GabeN gave his views on the future of AI. “That’s actually a surprisingly narrow challenge for artificial intelligence,” GabeN says. “Beating humans is easier than entertaining humans. But over the next several years – and if you ask me, my little spreadsheet calculation is it’s about nine years – we’ll have artificial general intelligence that can do anything a smart person can do.”

But the context of the conversation was the future of single-player games.

“If you could build a single-player game that just never ended, where I could play 20 hours a week and it just keeps growing and getting richer, and I’d be having as much fun 400 hours into this experience as I was in the first 20 hours… I think that is a way more likely scenario looking forward five years than it would have been looking forward five years ago. That’s going to be a tectonic shift in the industry.”

We’ve seen Valve step away from immersive single-player experiences for a while. To GabeN’s words, it was because they “saw more tractable opportunities elsewhere.” He says, “I mean, a typical gaming company would just keep cranking out sequel after sequel – but the reason people value Valve is that we’re supposed to be the ones picking interesting problems and solving them.”

But will these extremely intelligent bots come cheap? What would be the production cost like? Would we still be able to afford video games with such hyperintelligent bots?

“It’ll probably initially take something like a billion dollars to build one of these silicon humans, but then they’ll just keep getting cheaper, and it’ll get cheaper really quickly, and eventually reach the point where you have ten or a hundred people living in your computer all the time. Harnessing that will mean single-player games get a lot more interesting.”

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The quotes are taken from Edge Magazine Issue #344 which goes on sale in print on March 26.

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