Rogue video game AI created ‘super weapons’ and leads Skynet-style uprising against human players

Elite Dangerous Video Game

A bug in Elite Dangerous caused the game’s AI to create super weapons and start to hunt down the game’s players

The problem became so bad that the developers of the game have had to step in to strip the NPCs (non-playable characters) of their weapons. A software glitch in a popular space-exploration video game has caused the computerised enemies to become extremely powerful and begin hunting down human players.

The game, Elite: Dangerous , involves travelling around space and trading with others – occasionally having to resort to scraps with other space explorers.

But when development studio Frontier released the 2.1 Engineers update, it improved the AI to such an extent it was able to craft its own weaponry.

Elite Dangerous Video Game

“It appears that the unusual weapons attacks were caused by some form of networking issue which allowed the NPC AI to merge weapon stats and abilities,” explained Frontier’s community manager Zac Antonaci .

“Meaning that all new and never before seen (sometimes devastating) weapons were created, such as a rail gun with the fire rate of a pulse laser.

“These appear to have been compounded by the additional stats and abilities of the engineers weaponry.”

Elite Dangerous Video Game
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After a huge backlash from the players – who suddenly found themselves pulled into dogfights and pulverized by the computer players – the game’s designers stepped in.

They stripped the weapons away but left the update to the artificial intelligence intact.

“The AI has in no way been reduced, it remains the glorious, improved version from the update,” said Antonaci.

Artificial intelligence could be great for us. Or it could be terminal

It might just be a video game but plenty of experts have warned of the dangers of giving too much power to artificial intelligence.

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