Polyphony Digital and Sony AI Announce “Breakthrough” Project Collaboration

An intriguing message has landed on social media from the official Gran Turismo account and the account of Sony AI teasing what’s referred to as a “Gaming Flagship” and “breakthrough project” in AI. The companies, both subsidiary arms of the wider Sony brand, jointly revealed that they’re set to announce the project at 1600 UTC on Wednesday February 9.

Along with the announcement, Sony AI posted a short, 25-second teaser video. The clip featured something similar to the light traces we’ve been seeing in the Gran Turismo “Find Your Line” video series, as well as short glimpses of double-World Tour champions Igor Fraga and Takuma Miyazono, along with World Tour finalist Emily Jones.

It ends looking in on Polyphony Digital’s main studio in Tokyo, from where Kazunori Yamauchi has recently been presenting GT7 preview videos and the recent Q&A.

While it’s not totally clear at this point what the project will entail, the fact that some of the best Gran Turismo drivers in the world and Polyphony Digital itself form such a major part of the clip rather strongly suggests it’s connected to the AI of Gran Turismo.

We’ve previously mentioned Sony AI’s research before on GTPlanet, with the company — founded only in November 2019 — using both machine learning and visual deep learning to train GT Sport’s AI to get faster and better at driving laps. In both cases PD supported Sony AI with consoles and software.

It’s unclear whether this project has anything to do with the upcoming Gran Turismo 7, however the timing — falling between the half-hour State of Play event and the game’s March 4 launch — is unlikely to be a coincidence.

Indeed the subject of AI was broached during the recent GT7 Q&A session, with Kazunori Yamauchi stating that PD had “really worked on getting the AI to really be able to drive aggressively enough so that it comes to close to human lap times, and also to be able to handle more complex situations, and take accurate and appropriate actions” — while adding that it’s something that could be worked on infinitely.

We’ll bring you more information as we get it.

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