Rampaging, indestructible AI deer wreaking havoc in GTA V

25 Mar 2016

It appears that AI is literally running amok, at least in the fictional world of San Andreas as portrayed in the video game ‘GTA V’, with the releasing of an indestructible machine-learning deer.

Despite first being released back in 2013, GTA V remains an incredibly popular game online, at least among PC players, thanks to Rockstar Games’ attitude of opening up the game’s source code to a dedicated modding community that tinkers with every facet of the game.

Whether it’s turning your character into a homicidal chicken, or creating a world where physics doesn’t apply, the game continues to entertain those who play it, and those who watch videos of them online.

One of the most recent efforts has seen artist Brent Watanabe create a deer in the game that isn’t controlled by him or any player, but is rather an AI program that machine learns where to go in the game.

Not only can it teleport itself anywhere in the world created for GTA V if it finds itself in trouble, but it is also indestructible, which has seen it come out on top in a battle between itself and the game’s version of the US military, including tanks and fighter jets.

It’s not all about carnage and destruction, however, as on the deer’s dedicated website, Watanabe said it has been spotted having long walks on the beach under moonlight, or just causing a major traffic jam on the San Andreas highways.

And just to give it the biggest audience, the deer has its own Twitch channel live-streaming its activities that has already clocked more than 200,000 views as it strolls through, runs around and destroys parts of the virtual world.

Speaking to the BBC, Watanabe said that this latest project of his has not been an easy endeavour, but the reward has been worth it.

“The most difficult thing during the creation of the project was simply teaching myself to modify GTA V. There is an incredibly active modding community and I figured out how to programme the mod through a lot of forum searches and trial and error.

“The biggest difficulty was getting it stable enough to run for 12-14 hours at a time without crashing.”

While this AI has shown itself to be popular with people online, not all AIs unleashed on the internet have had such a positive reaction of late, with Microsoft’s Tay Twitter chatbot being the most recent example whereby machine-learning was used to force the bot to spout racist and misogynistic comments.

And, if you have an eternity to spare, you can watch the deer cam below on Twitch.

Deer image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic