Microsoft likens these AI tools to procedural generation, something games have used for decades. Bethesda's newest title (which is now owned by Microsoft), Starfield, showcased this technology as recently as in September. However, procedural generation as we know it uses handcrafted setpieces, writing, and dialogue - the actual Microsoft post mentions using "prompts" to create dialogue, rather than writers.
It claims that like developers experimenting with tools such as ChatGPT, this new partnership with Inworld will "see a world of opportunities to accelerate game developer creativity, reduce complexity, and enhance player experiences." However, it makes no mention of how these tools will be used in collaboration with writers. We've seen various jobs crop up over the past couple of years that have replaced writers, tasking them with going through AI-written pieces and fixing the mistakes, rather than being a tool to simplify the process.
Microsoft stated that it wants to "deliver state-of-the-art AI tools for game developers of any size", meaning that it will extend beyond first-party development. However, it's unclear what the tools will base their output on. While Microsoft will no doubt want to avoid stealing copyrighted work, its past record indicates that may be harder to achieve than it seems. When it rolled out a Bing AI image generator, people were able to make photos of Kirby, a Nintendo mascot, committing 9/11 (as reported by Kotaku).
This is despite the terms "9/11", "Twin Towers," and "terrorism" being banned, and despite Kirby being copyrighted material. Microsoft told Kotaku, "As with any new technology, some are trying to use it in ways that was not intended, which is why we are implementing a range of guardrails and filters to make Bing Image Creator a positive and helpful experience with users."
Microsoft is bringing AI characters to Xbox. Microsoft is partnering with Inworld AI to create Xbox game development tools for generative AI characters, storylines, and more. Full details on this new AI push here 👉 https://t.co/8I5LnDXSdv pic.twitter.com/RfZVHAOhi1— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 6, 2023
The announcement has not gone down well. Gamers, onlookers, and developers alike are lamenting the decision to use AI for the purposes of dialogue and narrative, something that several industries are fighting against.
The Writer's Guild of America recently struck a deal that banned studios from using AI to "write scripts or to edit scripts that have already been written by a writer." Now, similar tools are creeping into the world of gaming.
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