A reader is worried about the societal impact of new advances in AI but excited for how they could change the world of video games.
Most of the time new technology takes years to become mainstream and have any real effect on society as a whole. The internet was like that, VR has been around for decades already, and I imagine self-driving cars will take a long time to be full accepted. AI, though, seems to have gone from the stuff of sci-fi to everyday reality in the space of a few weeks. It’s kind of scary, especially when you read things like GC’s report on how it’s already taking job from video game artists in China.
I’m sure that will be true of all artists very soon, if it’s not already, and then, as pointed out, probably voiceovers and even programmers to a degree. If you can point to something and say, ‘Make something like that’ then it seems your job is danger from being replaced by AI. Which is, of course, terrible for people, and terrible for gamers who want something other than just a cookie cutter clone of something else.
If politicians had any wits about them, they’d ban any human being replaced by an AI, but apart from Italy banning ChatGPT I don’t think anyone’s done anything but look concerned. It’s awful and combined with the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and everything else that’s dragging the economy down at the moment, it seems almost like a doomsday scenario. And yet I’m still guiltily excited about it!
I imagine most people have already messed around with a chatbot recently and discovered just how weirdly realistic they can be. The illusion is often broken as it starts talking nonsense, and of course you shouldn’t believe anything it says, but it’s far more advanced than I assumed it was, before seeing it in the news made me check it out.
Assuming (and it’s a big assumption, I’ll grant) something is done quickly about AI ruining the job market, I do think it has some major implications for video games. AI in games has been stagnant for decades. I don’t think a game has sold itself on having good AI since the days of Halo and that’s, what, 22 years ago now?
I don’t know how good ChatGPT is at shooting people in a video game, for Skynet related reasons I guess we should hope not very, but I assume it can be adapted to provide more realistic opponents. Not just ones with really good aim – that’s easy – but ones that act like real people by making believable mistakes, being cowardly, using actual tactics, and, most importantly, not just running at you in a straight line.
Seriously, unless you’re a zombie just stop doing that. That and hiding behind a tiny bit of cover and popping up in the exact same place even though you know I’m there and just waiting for you to pop up again.
But the thing I’m most looking forward to is AI that can talk to you realistically, and not in the same endless loop of pre-recorded dialogue. This we know modern AI can do and I think it’s going to change everything when it starts happening in a game and even the minor character seem believable and real. You could talk to them about mission stuff but also anything else you can imagine and the AI would be able to respond.
Hopefully this won’t just be used for dating games but role-playing games especially, where it could be massive. I don’t know the technical issues, and I’ve probably missed a few of the moral ones, but the future of video game technology is looking like it won’t be focused on graphics but artificial intelligence.
By reader Austin
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