Although it’s taken longer than it should, we’re starting to see Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in games and home computing. VR is a system where you’re completely shut off from the world and all you see is what the machine is presenting to you; AR is Virtual Reality overlaid onto the real world, sometimes with haptics, which are devices that give you the illusion that you’re touching something in your virtual-reality world. Those technologies are going to become very important in gaming, in the manipulation of data, and in entertainment. This was supposed to be the big year of virtual reality with the launch of Oculus Rift, but it’s not quite good enough yet. However, VR and AR are getting better and cheaper at a fast rate.
In gaming, the other big change will be with non-player characters. In a first-person shooter game, for instance, as you go round there are lots of other characters in your view. If you’re playing a MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game), some of these are the other players, but lots of them don’t do very much.
Increasingly the entity that controls them will be an AI entity, so they’ll have more apparent volition, more apparent independent interaction. Would I compare it to the androids in Westworld? Yes, but with Westworld, as Hollywood always does, they leap straight to AGI [Artificial General Intelligence, a machine with cognitive abilities equivalent to an adult human] and Super-intelligence, which is wrong. This will be on a lower level.