Cheating has long been the bane of competitive games, and this is especially true on PC, while consoles are generally considered a safe harbor from them. This past week, a new video appeared showing a machine-learning AI-assisted cheat tool for Call of Duty: Warzone on consoles, shaking that belief, before Activision took decisive action to shut it down.
What was this AI-Assisted Cheat and how did it work?
First reported by the Anti-Cheat Police Department, they displayed a video that was being used to promote the cheat on Youtube and other places on July 5th. Using AI-powered by machine learning this cheat could work in theory for any game, but was displayed in Call of Duty: Warzone. It functioned by using a PC passthrough via streaming or capture card, and then using AI to detect elements of the video feed such as enemies and shooting at them. You only need to aim in a very general area (if at all) and the machine learning trained AI would do the rest, taking out enemies.
What did Activision do about the machine learning Call of Duty: Warzone cheats?
Activision's response began earlier this week, with the company first going after YouTube channels that were advertising cheats, as reported by Anti-Cheat Police Department on July 8th. However, that was merely the beginning of their action, as only a few days later we would see an even bigger action, as they went after the site that was going to sell the cheat. Called Userviz.com, the website now has the following statement on it as the only content:
This statement was not required.
However, at the request of Activision Publishing, Inc (“Activision”), I will no longer be developing or providing access to software that could be used to exploit their games. My intent was never to do anything illegal. At the end of the video that brought so much attention to this project, it stated “coming soon”. The software was never published.
This type of technology has other actual assistive benefits, for example, by pointing a webcam at yourself you could control movement without the use of limbs. Unfortunately, because of its potential negative impact I will not be developing it further.
For now, this means that we won't be seeing these machine learning, AI-powered cheats on console just yet. However, given that it has been displayed as possible, one imagines that this shows us where we will be seeing cheats go in the near future - and where there probably are already some quietly functioning. It will be difficult for anti-cheat to compete with that given the increased load this type of machine-learning requires, and while the cheater can divide it among two devices, the anti-cheat must be on each and every person's running devices.
What do you think of console cheats coming? Do you think AI will power a round of cheats that anti-cheat will struggle to contain? Let us know in the comments below.