Gran Turismo Sophy Video Series Selected as Tribeca X Awards Finalist

The Tribeca Festival, one of the largest annual film and entertainment festivals in the world, has selected the Gran Turismo Sophy development series “The Team Behind GT Sophy” as a finalist for the prestigious Tribeca X award.

First published in August 2022, The Team Behind GT Sophy is a three-part YouTube series that delves into the origins of the new machine-learning AI agent for Gran Turismo and the people behind it.

That’s a story that starts with Sony AI intern Florian Fuchs, who worked with senior AI engineer Kenta Kawamoto on this side-project in 2020. His work, which required him to run nine PlayStation 4 consoles 24/7 in a tiny Tokyo apartment — due to travel restrictions at the time — created the first iteration of what’s now called Gran Turismo Sophy and laid the groundwork for the larger project.

The short-video series details the work of the key personnel, including Fuchs and Kawamoto, Sony AI’s COO Michael Spranger, and executive directors Peter Stone and Peter Wurman, as they work to create a viable system for the Gran Turismo game series. We’re also treated to the stresses of Sophy’s first exposure to top-level GT7 drivers, and the work the team put in to come back for the second attempt.

Founded in 2002 by, among others, Robert de Niro, the Tribeca Festival is an annual celebration of film, music, games, art, and episodic entertainment, largely championing independent cinema and culturally relevant media.

The Tribeca X award is one of many given during the ten-day event which takes place predominantly in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Its focus is on advertising as an entertainment medium, and there are five categories: Feature Film, Short Film, Series, Immersive, and Audio.

Sony AI’s The Team Behind GT Sophy has been selected for the Series category, where it’ll be up against shorts from Adobe, Amazon Web Services, MIT Solve, Room to Read, and two-time Tribeca X-winner Square.

The winners will be announced on Tribeca X Day on June 14, with the festival itself running from June 7-18.

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