There is always a new technological trend that is heralded as the future. in 2021 these were NFTs. Last year it was the metaverse. And now AI. Some of the biggest gaming companies are already excited about the prospect of computer-generated graphics and scripts that could boost their profits. This week, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said that games will be one of the “the biggest beneficiaries” AI i Kotaku learned that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick recently told staff that he believed AI would be just as transformative for society as the original Macintosh, and could even be turned on in the future Guitar hero.
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Over 30 years of veteran Call of Duty publisher was asked at a company-wide meeting last week what role he thinks AI will play in Activision Blizzard and in the wider field of video games. This is a question many people ask themselves when AI-generated stories become hot spots in the Hollywood writers’ strike and Google unveils new AI tools that can be completely rebuilt how people navigate the internet.
“I’ve known Sam Weltman and people who have been working at OpenAI for a long time,” Kotick told staff, based on a recording of comments shared Kotaku. “I don’t know how much people realize that a lot of modern AI, including ChatGPT, started with the idea of beating a game, whether it was Warcraft Or dota Or starcraft Or To go Or Chess. But what are these big AI technologies for learning languages now, it all started with the idea of beating the game.”
And I think one of the things I’ve experienced over the last year is the same feeling I had when I saw the first MacIntosh about what a significant impact AI will have on society, both positive and negative. But I think what we’re doing will have a profound positive impact on the things we can do in making games for our players. Thanks to him, we will be able to do things that we have not been able to do for a long time.
You know, if you take an example from something like this Guitar hero, I’ve always had a vision of what’s new Guitar hero the product could exist but without artificial intelligence then the processors built into phones or computers or gaming consoles that allow you to actually get the processing speed to enable this artificial intelligence we have never been where AI tends to have practical reality and application to games until now. And I think when you look at the next five or seven years, the impact on game development will be remarkable.
It’s unclear what exactly Kotick dreamed about when it came to this using AI to reboot Guitar hero. This rhythm-based series was a hit for years until it finally collapsed under the weight of fast release schedules and too many peripherals. Maybe new Guitar hero will allow players to generate own songs based on the styles and voices of popular artistsor let them jam alongside iconic musicians on the fly. This can be intriguing and a licensing nightmare.
Kotick added that he believes AI tools will help make games more accessible and improve the way players learn about them. “If you look at games like Call of Duty we have people playing a fraction of what they can play because there’s a lot out there and it’s hard to learn,” Kotick said.
But while management touts the promise of advances in artificial intelligence, gamers and developers are concerned about the impact on creativity, ownership and privacy. A minor controversy broke out last week among Blizzard fans when a new patent citing machine learning image generation was claimed by the studio devil AND World of Warcraft who want to use artificial intelligence to create art. Hearthstone Project Lead Brenden Sewell and Blizzard President Mike Ybarra have stressed that this is not the case.
“Blizzard will always strive to maintain Blizzard quality,” Ybarra tweeted 5 May. “You’re trying to tie recent advances in artificial intelligence (generative AI) to something completely unrelated. Our approach at Blizzard is to use machine learning and AI in an additive, empathetic way that allows our talented teams to spend more time on creative thinking and high-quality assignments.”
How IGN reportedconcerns about companies using AI tools against employees were also the focus of EA’s recent earnings call. “The fear of dislocating the workforce is something we read and talk about a lot,” said Wilson. “When we think of every revolution over time, from the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution and beyond, there has been a shift in the workforce in the short term, followed by a significant increase in the capacity of the workforce in the long term.”
Kotick tried to present a more optimistic outlook for Activision developers. “With all the talented people we have, with resources and franchises, I don’t think there has been a time in my 30 years where the company has had more opportunities than I see today,” he told them. While the CEO may not be around to see this opportunity if the $69 billion deal is sold to Microsoft, which was recently blocked by UK regulatorsfinally passes.
Kotick is expected to leave if the acquisition is still complete, and How Axios reports, could see an additional $185 million when that happens. In that case, someone else would have to figure out how to use AI to resurrect Guitar hero.
Workivision Blizzard did not respond to a request for comment.