Square Enix teams up with Omron to develop ‘AI that helps motivate humans’ 

Square Enix has partnered with tech firm Omron to jointly research “artificial intelligence (AI) that helps motivate humans”. The research kicks off with Forpheus, an innovative table tennis robot tutor that harnesses Omron’s state-of-the-art technology” and forges “a new relationship between humans and machines”.

Through this joint research, the two companies hope to develop an AI algorithm that “generates motivational feedback from vital data and other kinds of information, thereby establishing technology that brings out the ability to stimulate dramatic human growth”.

“Under the framework of this joint research, the two companies aim to develop AI that can realise personalised coaching to enhance each player’s motivation to play better, by combining Omron’s proprietary ‘sensing technology for reading human emotions and ability’ and Square Enix’s AI technology, Meta-AI – which observes the characters, environment and players all together over time, and then uses the information to adapt the general strategies for enemies, non-player characters, terrain, weather and more in the game – for differentiating how a game unfolds for each player to stimulate an emotional response in them,” a press release said. 

“As humans communicate with machines equipped with this AI while they play table tennis together, it is hoped that a new relationship between humans and machines – machines drawing the best performance out of humans – will be made a reality.”

The Advanced Technology Division (ATD) at Square Enix “conducts applied research and develops core technologies covering all aspects of games” with the goal of helping create new markets by “using advanced game technologies” to contribute to society and people’s lives. It has been leading development of Meta-AI technologies, a new mechanic that can automatically learn from a user’s emotions and then produce unique content based on the data. 

Furthermore, the ATD believes “a digital game will be playable not only on a display screen, but also in real space” in the “near future”. Omron, on the other hand, plans to apply “the fruits of this joint technology development to focus business domains such as factory automation, healthcare and social solution”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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