Using AI to remake old games... (general thoughts and Blade Runner articles)

All the noise about the Blade Runner remake (see these articles here and here) got me thinking about AI doing remakes. The articles don't mention AI, but if you look at the pictures in the articles, it's obvious that not only did a human not work on the graphics, but it doesn't appear that a human even looked at them, except for maybe a casual glance here and there, and obviously the AI used in this case was not quite up to the job.

But wouldn't it be cool if the AI actually was up to the job (probably soon enough it will be)? Load up your game and hit a few keys and the AI remasters/remakes the old game look new? All those games on GoG, which don't have DRM, could actually be remastered by the players once we can run these AI's on our own computers. Want to play Ultima 2 but don't like those early 80's graphics? Theoretically your AI would just upgrade them for you.

I think it's an amazing tech that could do wonders for old games once all the rough edges have been ironed out.

This leads to another question, though. Will advanced AI ever be put into the hands of the general public? I bet not. We'll get to use it for basic things, but won't be able to run it on our own computers. People think AI is scary, but nothing is more scary than a human controlling AI.

Thoughts?
 
could actually be remastered by the players
I expect a legal quagmire in such a situation. Copyright includes making "derivative" works, which I guess would cover remasters.

Some companies might be sanguine about it, as currently about the significant modding scene, but some might not.

amazing tech that could do wonders for old games
I agree, should be major potential there.
 
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AI is going to run a lot of humans out of jobs
And most likely—ie like every other tech advance in human history—create an absolute wealth of new jobs.

Transition period can be tricky tho, if ignored. But that's the strength of raw Capitalism, continually breaking stuff, innovating and renewing without safety nets—thankfully many people are used to this by now.
 
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This leads to another question, though. Will advanced AI ever be put into the hands of the general public? I bet not. We'll get to use it for basic things, but won't be able to run it on our own computers. People think AI is scary, but nothing is more scary than a human controlling AI.

Any proper AI will probably need a computer that's far more powerful than what the general public can buy. At least for the foreseeable future. Once it's possible to run an advanced AI on a personal computer, there's really no proper way to stop people from making their own though, so I'm not sure how it would ever be completely illegal to own your own advanced AI or how they would enforce it if it does become illegal.

I expect a legal quagmire in such a situation. Copyright includes making "derivative" works, which I guess would cover remasters.

As long as you don't spread the altered work it shouldn't be a problem. Though it might become a bit of a legal gray area if you distribute a program that specifically transforms one particular game into a derivative.

And most likely—ie like every other tech advance in human history—create an absolute wealth of new jobs.

And if not, there'll be more people to spread out the remaining work that needs to be done by humans, meaning everyone can work less.
 
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Whether AI powerful enough to remake games well becomes a reality or not, or whether consumer PCs are ever powerful enough to run it if so, I think it isn't the deciding factor. Games are always IPs owned by the publishers. They would never stand for consumers being able to remake them on their own, with zero cash received for it.

That said, some devs offer modding tools that players have used to make certain games like Skyrim look WAY better, but you did say remake, and that would mean changing or adding gameplay content. I also think AI that can actually remake vs just remaster a game are two entirely different things, with likely quite some time gap in technology.
 
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And most likely—ie like every other tech advance in human history—create an absolute wealth of new jobs.

Transition period can be tricky tho, if ignored. But that's the strength of raw Capitalism, continually breaking stuff, innovating and renewing without safety nets—thankfully many people are used to this by now.
You're right about new types of jobs. But you're also right about the transition. The problem is with the people who have worked their whole career life in an industry, and then that job is gone. A lot of people are to far along in their work lives to just go back to college. It's ok for the up-and-coming generations, but tough for the old workers.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
AI already is being used to upgrade old games via mods:

That's nowhere near the level of the AI upgrading an ancient game like Ultima ][ and turning it into something with 3D graphics, obviously, but it's still nice.

As for automation putting people out of jobs: yeah, it's been happening for a long time now. Society can adjust to a point but, eventually, we'll get to where you can get everybody clothed, fed, sheltered, and entertained just fine without using all the working age adults. Then you need to start thinking about welfare a lot differently. Science Fiction has already been poking around at the problem. It's mentioned some in The Expanse. Nancy Kress' Beggars Trilogy spoke about it a lot more, but also threw in genetic modifications.
 
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eventually, we'll get to where you can get everybody clothed, fed, sheltered, and entertained just fine without using all the working age adults.
Hopefully that'll come within the lifetime of today's children. AI, robotics, automation, machine learning, reduced consumption—there are a lot of potential revolutionary advances flexing in the wings at the moment.

Then of course there's the Bullshit job:
"Polling in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands indicates that around 40% of workers consider their job to fit this description"

Then you need to start thinking about welfare a lot differently. Science Fiction has already been poking around at the problem
History too—current near-full employment is only a feature for the past couple of centuries in the first world.
 
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As for automation putting people out of jobs: yeah, it's been happening for a long time now. Society can adjust to a point but, eventually, we'll get to where you can get everybody clothed, fed, sheltered, and entertained just fine without using all the working age adults. Then you need to start thinking about welfare a lot differently. Science Fiction has already been poking around at the problem. It's mentioned some in The Expanse. Nancy Kress' Beggars Trilogy spoke about it a lot more, but also threw in genetic modifications.
At some point, it's going to get to where nobody has jobs, and the way you make money is by investing in AI/robot technology. You can buy a couple of robots, and they make you money by doing the work for you. They'll keep a small cut of your earnings for maintenance fees.

Then of course there's the Bullshit job:
"Polling in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands indicates that around 40% of workers consider their job to fit this description"
Kind of like this scene from Office Space.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4OvQIGDg4I
 
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the way you make money
Unless the pols let the companies keep it all—until the revolution only, of course—we should need very little money at that stage, with material goods being dirt cheap. I hope…

Office Space
Have had that on my IMDb watch list forever—now got it on one of our TV channels watch list at last. Thanks for the nudge :)
 
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I think there's a lot of potential in it.

I can't remember which article I read before, but here's the related youtube video for AI based enhancement for driving games. Specifically they used GTA V as the base.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1IcaBn3ej0


In short they're using the graphics from the game, finding matching buildings/scenery from the training images, and then applying that back into the game.

In the article I read, they were discussing that perhaps in future a game doesn't even need to be as graphically detailed as GTA V is currently. In future they might just be able to connect a vague concept of eg. "modern brick building" or "old rundown apartment" to the AI and have it find a suitable imagery replacement for it.

Obviously that's all for driving, but then couldn't we be doing the same for character models? That said I think for moving objects - especially people - it's probably likely to produce an "uncanny valley" result right now. Deep fake videos replacing only the facial features still look pretty wacky, so a whole-body replacement is probably even worse. But maybe instead of "deep fake" we instead aimed for "deep cartoon" it would be ok.
 
I think there's a lot of potential in it.

I can't remember which article I read before, but here's the related youtube video for AI based enhancement for driving games. Specifically they used GTA V as the base.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1IcaBn3ej0
I've seen that video before. My opinion of it is they took a game that looked fairly realistic and made it look more like a VHS tape. It looks less real than it did before, but more like real VHS footage.
 

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