“We are now in a gray zone,” says Lior Romanowsky, CEO of Spartans Technologies, an Israeli company that helps others navigate and implement emerging technologies, in regard to how generative AI is being implemented in the tech industry. “There are not enough rules of engagement because this entire field is so new.”
One fact however is very clear: AI will be a driving factor in the future of gaming creation, gaming technology, and gaming companies. AI itself is not a new concept – in fact, AI has been an integral part of video games since the 1950s. However, the emergence of generative AI solutions over the past year has opened the door to a host of revolutionary new possibilities.
Generative AI is groundbreaking because instead of utilizing a programmed response to a specific set of inputs like traditional AI, it is able to analyze inputs and use them to create something new. For example, imagine you are playing a game of chess against the computer and you open by moving your pawn to e4. With traditional AI, the computer will respond by choosing from a list of pre-programmed responses that you have triggered by moving your pawn to e4 – no new ideas are being created. However, generative AI platforms such as GPT-4, OpenAI’s language prediction model, can take an input such as “Give me the history of the Roman Empire in 500 words” and turn it into a fleshed-out paper, nearly on par with what a human could create.
This type of scenario is not only applicable to writing. “We are very we’re getting very close to a scenario where the game will adapt itself to us,” continued Romanowsky in an exclusive interview with Dealerscope. He went on to say that how each of us experiences a video game in the future may be totally different due to the presence of generative AI.
Romanowsky is far from the only one with this vision. When asked by Dealerscope about the potential for generative AI to create dialogue for non-player characters, Steven Collins, CTO of King.com, which owns the massively popular game Candy Crush Saga said: “I think that is going to play an important part for the future of non-player characters. The challenge for us is – we talked about it earlier – how do you weave that into a narrative structure?” Collins went on to say, “The tooling is going to be the thing that is going to unlock it. And, we haven’t made a huge amount of progress yet because it’s so new”
AI in Game Development
From the game development and testing side, generative AI and traditional AI have the potential to be the great equalizer for small-scale developers.
Think of your favorite setting. A chateau sitting on the edge of a snow-capped mountain in the Swiss Alps or perhaps a beach bar on a tropical island with the perfect sunset over the ocean? As a game creator in the future, instead of relying on a massive team of developers, you will be able to describe such a setting and have generative AI create that exact world.
On a technology level, the industry is still quite far from turning this situation into a reality. But, according to Romanowsky, “it is really clear that this is the direction the industry is heading. And, once you have these technologies in place, the threshold of creating content and games will be reduced drastically.” He went on to say, “There will be no blockers for a lot of small companies to become very significant. Why? Because their prompting is more creative.”
But, this isn’t all that AI can be used for on the development side. King.com uses AI bots as level testers for games like Candy Crush Saga. “We generate AI bots that play levels hundreds of thousands of times so that we know in advance if they’re going to be good. The challenge for us is not to create a bot that’s better than the human but to create a path that is like a human,” said Collins during the IFA 2023 panel Taking Gaming to the Next Level: The Latest Advancements and What’s to Come?
With the right balance generative AI and traditional AI have the power to help game developers and companies generate unprecedented amounts of information, which will be instrumental in creating optimal experience for the user.