I looked and looked but games were bizarrely absent from the Barbican’s new AI exhibition

July 23, 2019
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I popped into London’s Barbican Centre last week to see the new exhibition about artificial intelligence – AI: More than Human, it’s called. I considered myself peak target audience, not because I’ve read a couple of Isaac Asimov stories and not because I’ve seen Deus Ex: Machina, although that was a good film – Poe was great wasn’t he? It’s not because I’m a particular AI geek at all. It’s because of video games.

We hear about AI in the games world all the time. Every year, it seems like we’re being promised the most realistic villagers ever, or the cleverest footballing opponents, or the most aggressive baddies with guns. “They will learn and adapt to your style of play!” God, how many times have we heard that? So when I walked into the Barbican exhibition, I expected video games to be everywhere.

And I looked. And I looked. But I couldn’t find them.

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