The news cycle at CES 2024 is overwhelming, and right now I feel like I'm drowning in laptops. But among the wall-to-wall hardware announcements, our pals at Tom's Hardware have checked out a new monitor from MSI that grabbed my attention.
But for all the wrong reasons.
As a gaming monitor, it seems pretty good. It's big, and beautiful, with a QD-OLED panel and screams high-end. But that's not the talking point. That falls on our old friend AI, and in this case, you could argue that AI tech is being used to cheat at League of Legends.
Or, at the very least, give an unfair advantage to anyone using it versus someone who isn't. It's not necessarily cheating by definition, but it's a little shady and I don't think I agree with it.
AI is coming for our video games
The monitor uses AI apparently to examine the in-game mini-map and then work out where enemies are coming from, before giving you an on-screen prompt showing you the direction to concentrate on. Or, I guess, the direction to run away from.
So it isn't technically cheating, but it certainly sounds like an unfair advantage. If it wasn't adding something the game doesn't already do, then would it even be worth doing at all? Admittedly, I don't play League of Legends, but getting a prompt from your gaming monitor on enemy locations feels a little shady to me. It'll also be completely undetectable since nothing is happening on the PC.
MSI will also be releasing a tool that allows you to train your own AI models on your own games, to recognize health bars, enemies and any other number of on-screen features. The tech is cool as hell, but this is up there with using a mouse and keyboard on your Xbox in unsupported games as a questionable ethical decision.
The fact the AI is only making use of information already on the display means it isn't an actual cheat, but it's absolutely unfair in a competitive setting. These kinds of games can be toxic enough at the best of times without players having additional visual clues to destroy you faster.
This won't help AI make a better name for itself
I'm supportive of AI, I use it every day with tools like ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot. But for all the good it can do, I'm very aware of the other side of the argument and the ways that AI builds a less positive reputation for itself.
This just feels like yet another one of those situations. MSI's intentions may well be good, but I'm struggling to see how this is supposed to get positive reception from the masses. Training an AI tool to make you better at a game than someone without access to it feels wrong.
While not on the same level as someone using wall hacks to show opponent locations, it's close enough in my opinion to be frowned upon. You'll never know if someone you're playing against has AI help like this, and while it may only be one (presumably expensive) monitor right now, that's all it takes to set a precedent.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine