Ubisoft slammed for plans to use AI-generated dialogue

Theo Burman
Ubisoft AI generated dialogue

When Ubisoft unveiled a new AI that could change the way games are designed, they probably weren’t expecting to get heckled for it.

In a recent developer presentation, Ubisoft La Forge researcher Ben Swanson introduced us to the Ghostwriter AI tool, which was described as “an AI tool developed in-house that aims to support our scriptwriters by generating the first draft of our NPC barks – the phrases or sounds made by NPCs when players interact with the game world.”

“This tool was created hand-in-hand with scriptwriters to create more realistic NPC interactions by generating variations on a piece of dialogue. See how our teams will use AI to handle repetitive tasks, and free up time to work on other core game elements.”

The presentation stressed that the AI was only being used for drafts, and still required human input. They also suggested that the tool would free up more time for writers to work on “less repetitive tasks,” and make narrative design more efficient.

However, that didn’t stop many members of the game development community from condemning Ubisoft’s new approach.

Alanah Pearce, A writer at Sony Santa Monica, said: “As a writer, having to edit AI-generated scripts/dialogue sounds far more time-consuming than just writing my own temp lines

“I would far prefer AAA studios use whatever budget it costs to make tools like this to instead hire more writers.”

Professional voice actor Casey Mongillo put it more simply, saying: “This sucks” in response to the announcement.

Twitter users also took the opportunity to dunk on Ubisoft’s previous approach to writing, with one tweet sarcastically reading: “A future where Ubisoft games have bland, artless, repetitive dialogue. Imagine, if you dare.”

Ubisoft is not the first company to make an advance in game design using AI. In February, Chinese developer NetEase announced that their mobile MMO Justice Online would use Chat GPT to power their NPCs and player interactions.

They even suggested that in the future, they would use AI-generated voices to give these NPCs audio.

For more on AI developments, check out our analysis of Chat GPT-4.

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