One of Gran Turismo's most common criticisms is the AI. While Gran Turismo’s AI behaviour has come a long way since the series started in 1997, you never feel like you’re racing against human opponents. GT7's AI opponents are too passive and rarely fight for position. Polyphony wants to change this with its Sophy AI learning system.
Unveiled back in February, Sophy is developed in collaboration with Sony AI and Polyphony Digital. It’s a sophisticated AI learning system that can already post faster lap times than the best Gran Turismo players in the world. It even beat Lewis Hamilton’s record Nurburgring lap time in GT SPort's Lewis Hamilton Time Trial Challenge by 17 seconds.
Kazunori confirmed Sophy will be added to GT7 in a future update, but didn’t say exactly when it will arrive. However, a comment posted by the official Gran Turismo YouTube channel suggests it's coming sooner rather than later.
AI update coming to Gran Turismo 7 before the end of the year?
During the Italian-language stream of the World Series Showdown Nations Cup, a GTPlanet forum member spotted a user asking the live chat when the Sophy AI will be implemented into GT7.
In response, the official Gran Turismo YouTube channel responded: “La metteremo in-game prima della fine dell’anno se tutto va bene.” In English, this translates to: “We will put it in-game before the end of the year if all goes well.”
Notably, this is the first time an official source has hinted when the Sophy AI update will arrive.
Sophy AI shown off in GT7 for the first time
Sophy was also shown off in GT7 for the first time at the World Series Showdown. The AI competed with professional Gran Turismo players such as Igor Fraga and Valerio Gallo.
GTPlanet reports that cars controlled by Sophy finished first and second in the first race at Sardegna Windmills but the AI was defeated by Gran Turismo World Champion Valerio Gallo in the second race at Lago Maggiore.
Kazunori has hinted that Sophy will act as a “teacher that will teach driving to players, a student that will learn sportsmanship from players, and as a friend to race with.” He also hinted that Sophy could control AI drivers in a new B-Spec race director mode.
While we don’t have a specific date yet, an AI update later this year would help improve GT7 before it faces stiff competition from Forza Motorsport next spring. As GTPlanet highlights, the AI update could coincide with the World Series finals in Monaco on 25-27 November.