Nvidia just hinted at AI that can play games for you

A screenshot from Nvidia's G-Assist April Fool's video.

“The future is never far away.” That’s the comment Nvidia made yesterday on social media about an old April Fool’s joke about AI in games.

Here’s the context: In 2017, Nvidia made a silly April Fool’s joke video about something called GTX G-Assist, a dongle that could add some outlandish AI features to gaming. Then again, what was outlandish in 2017 feels possible seven years later.

There are three fake AI features mentioned in the video, but only one feels like something that could actually be real today. “GeForce GhostPlay” is described as AI that “watches how you play to mimic you,” and would then let the AI play for you. The situation described was that you were in the middle of a multiplayer game and needed to answer the front door without being able to pause the game.

An AI that can play a game for you doesn’t sound too impossible these days. There have been reports that Google DeepMind is teaching its AI how it could function in the real world by watching people play open-world video games, and the thought of an AI being trained on how you play is interesting.

Of course, the obvious problem with anything like this is cheating. The video includes settings for how offensive or defensive you want to be and your actions per minute, but would it be considered cheating if the AI can only perform as well as you do in the game? And if it were restricted to small amounts of time? That could actually be useful.

Nvidia has been at the forefront of experimenting with integrating AI into video games, most notably with Ace, its AI-powered NPC idea. There was also the Minecraft Copilot GPT-4o demo that Microsoft showed at Build 2024, which made for a pretty impressive real-time tutorial bot. This isn’t quite the “BossBoost” AI feature from Nvidia’s joke video, but it’s certainly one step in that direction.

We’re at the very beginning of AI integration in video games, and it’s not hard to imagine why Nvidia would want to merge its two most important businesses. Will that end up being a feature that gamers actually like? One reply to the post implies that they’d love having a bot play for you in the less-interesting parts of open-world RPG game like Dragon Age: Inquisition or Assassin’s Creed.

But for now, we’ll have to see if Nvidia has any major updates at its Computex keynote, which will be going live this Sunday. Nvidia likely won’t be announcing any new consumer GPUs, but some AI updates are expected.