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Artificial intelligence (AI) is an exciting topic for some and terrifying for others. Reality, as with many things, seems to fall somewhere between the extremes. What is not up for debate is the potential usefulness of AI workers in gaming and film.
David Reitman, managing director and video game industry leader for Accenture, moderated the AI and Future of Gaming panel at this year’s GamesBeat Summit Next 2022 event. At one point during the conversation, Reitman asked the panel what they find exciting in the future of AI.
“There’s never enough time or resources when you’re creating a movie or game world to adequately address the population of that world or movie with enough exposition to give you understanding,” said Academy Award winner John Gaeta, chief creative officer for Inworld AI. “Great games take years over time to log more and more logic, more and more knowledge, and possibly build many buildings that are possible within that particular world. And the same goes for movies and TV. is to essentially populate the world. Call them supporting characters, right? Who understand how this world works. They can have that as a common understanding. They understand their role.”
“And it could be as simple as I’m a shopkeeper, or something more sophisticated, but a world of NPCs right,” Gaeta asked. “Who understand how they fit in and can potentially be used to not only create a rich exposition, but also to guide and steer a player in fascinating directions. Some of those hunches may be through human design. I’m going to make you sort of push through the arcs of a big mission and adventure, or possibly it can stray into more simulation-like stuff where interactions you have with these NPCs can effectively create a chain reaction of a story and or gameplay that was unexpected. So there’s a great opportunity, and it’s not far, it’s close, it’s short term that you could try these things.”
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AI in art
Once we’ve created characters who can appreciate their world, where do we go? Andrew Maximov, CEO of Promethean AIwants to see machines that can create art based on their unique worlds.
“Characters are quirky, but I think what’s interesting to me is how we work with AI in general, how we see how people assign meaning to events that happen digitally,” Maximov said. “There are all these interesting opportunities for us to create experiences and give them meaning. Sometimes there’s an accident where our AI builds something that wasn’t meant to be built that way, but people come in and they’re like, ‘Oh, there must have been an accident here. This thing is out of place.’ We link stories to the things we see. That’s what our brains are really good at. And I really like that part. But the part I’d like to see unlocked that I think we’re really far away from is the opposite.”
“It is very conscious art that is not meant to be interpreted in different ways,” Maximov continued. “That’s the art where I always use examples of modern pop music where it’s as generic and broadly appealing as possible, and then you go back and listen to like Bob Dylan and the Lonesome Death of Hat Carroll, when there’s just a way to do that.” number very specifically, and the author had a very clear intention. And that’s the part I’d like to see AI in character and story take us to a very deliberate intent rather than something very generic.”
While it may not be that exciting, one of the more practical uses of AI is performing repetitive tasks. In work where human intervention would be rare, AI can do the job tirelessly with a very low failure rate.
“I think one of the very clear areas we’re talking about is the new things that are happening around generative AI, which is obviously quite exciting,” said Dennis Fong, CEO of GGWP. “But you also have to look at the technological leverage you have with AI, especially when it comes to more menial tasks. You know, the kind of grunt work that almost anyone can do, whether it’s data entry, or I’m sure there are parts of art that are also in the creative process that are just really time consuming.”
“If you look at the short term, I think AI has a lot more impact on solving things like testing and QA,” continues Fong. “Of course moderation is also what we do at GGWP, because there are very large data sets there. You don’t need a human to judge a kid who spams the n-word in the chat room. You don’t need a human to watch that and spend hours digging up that person’s history. AI can essentially look at that very quickly in real time and fix that. And I think there are other elements in the creative process that AI can really help. If you look at a more meta level, I think AI is going to speed up the creative process in a lot of different ways, right?”
The world of tomorrow
Gaeta reminds us in his closing remarks that we are at the dawn of a new world. A world conceived by those before us. It may be one that many of us won’t live long enough to see it, but we can chart its course for a while.
‘You know that expression ‘life is stranger than fiction?’ What we make in real life is often suggested to us essentially from large works of fiction. In the Matrix there is something called the Construct, right? That’s more or less what we’re following, right? And it was predicted for that movie quite a long time ago. So I think it’s quite interesting to think about the long arc of a career that starts in concept and fiction and ends with people trying to realize these things.”
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