The invasion of generative AI text and large language model (LLM) tools like ChatGPT into game development and design has gotten the backing of a particularly large player, as Microsoft has announced a new partnership between Xbox and AI developer Inworld AI to create “AI game dialogue & narrative tools at scale.”
Inworld AI claims on its site that its technology lets developers “craft characters with distinct personalities and contextual awareness that stay in-world” that are optimized “for scale and performance.” Inworld’s tech has yet to be applied to any actual games, but it has been reportedly used in mods for titles like Skyrim and Stardew Valley.
The announcement confirms that Xbox will be leveraging this tech to build an “AI design copilot” that lets devs transform prompts into detailed scripts, dialogue trees, and quests, as well as an AI character runtime engine that can be integrated into a game client to make “entirely new narratives with dynamically-generated stories, quests, and dialogue for players to experience.”
Microsoft’s rationalization for making AI text tools instead of hiring human writers boils down to its usual corporate line of bringing technology to everyone. “Together, we aim to deliver an accessible, responsibly designed multi-platform AI toolset to assist and empower creators in dialogue, story & quest design,” reads part of the announcement. “Partnering with Inworld is an important step in our journey to empower game developers.”
This revelation has obviously not gone over well with developers who craft game narratives, particularly since none of Microsoft’s announcement elaborates on where Inworld AI is sourcing its text to build its LLM (leading to the assumption that it’s stealing from writers) while megacorps like Microsoft seem hell-bent on culling human creative labor in order to perceptibly pocket more money for executives.
“Love to have an ‘AI copilot’ who steals my work & devalues my labor all so corporate can make more money and keep me precarious,” reads a tweet from narrative designer Meghna Jaynath. “Literally one of the few jobs humans ENJOY doing is making stuff up, it’s actually sinister to replace us with machines.”