Regression Games has raised $4.2 million for AI gaming and esports

Regression Games has raised $4.2 million for AI gaming and esports ...

Regression Games has raised $4.2 million to expand the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in gaming and esports competitions.

Aaron Vontell, a 25-year-old solo entrepreneur with a two-month-old company, comes from a rare breed of technical experts in a new game area.

Vontell, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who designed Battlecode, an AI gaming competition for students, was a big inspiration for the new company.

Most AI gaming is focused on non-player characters, or NPCs, who serve as the computer-controlled cannon fodder that are slaughtered by human players. However, Regression Games will allow human players to create AI that plays the game.

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Vontell told GamesBeat that he has always been interested in artificial intelligence. And so much of what that means is that players are instead creating AI and programming code to control the characters. And the goal is to make this amazing, innovative technology a reality for gamers.

Vontell joined NEA-backed Instabase and missed the thrill of using technology in games. So he founded Regression Games, a company that allows gamers to compete and perfect their skills by writing code to control their favorite characters.

I worked on machine learning for low-code solutions for extracting information from documents as an early employee of Instabase. According to Vontell, I have a background in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Andreessen Horowitz, Roosh Ventures, and angel investors participated in the round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

Vontell intends to expand its engineering team and accelerate the development of the first platform to test AI-driven gaming, in collaboration with existing games and game studios.

Regression Games is developing a platform and an ecosystem to make AI gaming and esports more accessible and enjoyable for everyone. The platform will allow players to write code and AIs that control characters, debug strategies in real-time, compete for prizes in tournaments and top spots on leaderboards, and collaborate with friends to develop the finest bots possible.

Users of Regression Games will develop algorithms and machine learning algorithms to defeat others rather than using a controller or mouse or keyboard. The AI platform will be built to work with both existing and original games created by Regression Games.

This intersection of gaming and coding is expected to grow in the years to come, according to the company. By 2028, the video game industry is expected to be worth $435 billion, as well as an estimated 45 million coders by 2030.

Vontell said the idea is to enable the users, the actual players, to interact with these AIs. So you create your own NPCs to play for you in the game. Its a good analogy.

A good example is the OpenAI 5 machine learning framework that was developed for Dota 2 in 2017. It demonstrated that artificial intelligence (AI) might be extremely adept at playing games.

Vontell envisions a wide range of player expertise. One competition might be for newbies to programming, while another might be for machine learning experts at the high school or college level.

Origins

Vontell has spent the past few years developing low-code/no-code solutions for non-technical people to leverage the potential of large machine learning models.

As a freshman, he began playing Battlecode, and later helped organize the club. Battlecode was an annual AI gaming competition held at MIT, where college students built virtual robots to compete in video games.

Vontell believes that the increase in AI is the ideal time to begin bringing AI gaming to the masses. I want to bring those concepts to the mainstream, providing an environment where individuals can have fun using and competing with artificial intelligence in games.

Rick Yang, NEA's general partner and head of consumer investing, said in an email to GamesBeat that they were impressed with his work at Instabase, where NEA was also an early investor.

Weve also funded a few key innovators coming out of Instabase, which is known for bringing on excellent entrepreneurial talent. Yang says his technical chops and abilities were apparent at Instabase, and we had confidence in him as a founder. I like the concept of a metagame that is about hacking the game, and there's a large overlap of coders and gamers.

Yang believes it was a relatively straightforward decision.

Vontell believes that AI competition's tools and approaches are beneficial to more than just the players, but also game studios that want to improve their AI abilities or conduct their own AI competitions.

Vontell noted that a lot of people are gaming these days, and that there is a lot of work involved in creating NPCs and AIs that are used in the metaverse, online battle arenas, etc. The tools and platform developed for players to compete will also be extremely useful for developers who want to incorporate AIs into their games.

In the next months, Regression Games intends to conduct a private alpha test and tournament with players on its AI platform. Interested players and game developers may visit here to join the mailing list.

Vontell said he's excited to get this out and see what the players think.

Are there any intelligent intelligence (AI) that are intelligent?

Is Vontell of the opinion that sapient, or human-like AI is on the way?

It's an interesting question, and I talk about it a lot with my friends who are working in this field. Everybody always has a very different answer, whether it's already here or its 100 years old. I think we all have to think about the goals we're trying to achieve.

Given dystopian science fiction, AI has a tendency to enrage people. People may find shady methods to utilize technology, but he believes regulations can protect us.

We make sure that these AIs were developed responsibly at Regression Games, according to him. But that's a valid question to ask ourselves.

Vontell believes that gaming hasnt fully exploited artificial intelligence (AI). He wants to take it and put it in the hands of gamers, with a new twist on user-generated content.

Vontell pointed out that artificial intelligence (AI) is very modular, and that you may mix and match these different approaches for different games.

The company will expand and develop some application programming interfaces (APIs) to help AI players interact with existing games. That will enable players to start competing and building the community, and it will generate feedback from players.

Vontell said it is possible to then have discussions with studios, game designers, and players about how to develop the product further and get it in the hands of more players and game studios.

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