AI is helping to make video game scenes, like this one in Grand Theft Auto, far more realistic.

AI Modifies Imagery for Greater Realism in Grand Theft Auto V Video Game

We found a story that got us revved up about AI and automobiles. These days they are almost synonymous due to all the autonomous adaptions and additions to nearly every vehicle made for the past 5 years. It’s to see driverless cars become ever closer to being commonplace.

However, this article is about new additions to video cars. Yes, it is about using AI for upgrading your Grand Theft Auto V video game. Seriously.

As this writer is one of the few who has never played this extremely successful video game, it would be less than a successful review of the GTA-V based on my knowledge. And especially about the modification to a game I know nothing about. But according to Wikipedia:

“Grand Theft Auto V is a 2013 action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008’s Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three protagonists—retired bank robber Michael De Santa, street gangster Franklin Clinton, and drug dealer and arms smuggler Trevor Philips—and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a corrupt government agency and powerful criminals. The open world design lets players freely roam San Andreas’ open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.”

The article we are highlighting is from and it’s promoting new photorealism that is said to be the future of video graphics for these types of games.

The clarity of the new system is remarkable to be sure. Here is the description by Engadget on the future of this part of gaming.

“You may have seen Grand Theft Auto V realism mods before, but probably not as effective as this. Kotaku reports that researchers Stephan Richter, Hassan Abu AlHaija and Vladlen Koltun have developed a technique that adds an uncanny level of photorealism to the game using machine learning. The method not only adopts more natural colors, but improves reflections, tweaks road texture smoothness and otherwise adds subtleties to GTA V’s normally hyper-vivid look.”

The upgrade is the result of AI algorithmic upgrades. The visual upgrade required a new approach to AI enhancement. While the concept of using real-world footage to guide the algorithms isn’t new, the researchers found that existing methods either produced artifacts (and were frequently “unstable”) or were too slow to be usable. There was often a wide gap between the footage used to train the AI and the in-game scenes. The new method grabs similar-looking patches to provide better reference points for enhancement, such as similar-looking cars and people while keeping the frame rates relatively high.

“Just as technology like NVIDIA’s DLSS is making 4K gaming more viable, you could see games routinely lean on AI to add a photorealistic look that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.”

But this is not going to be available just now. There is a lot of refining left to do but the idea is set and will evolve to store shelves soon.

If you are a GTA fan check the link below for more photos and information about the mod.