Naughty dog ​​owner Neil Druckmann says AI will ‘revolutionize the way content is created’ – IGN

Naughty Dog boss Neil Druckmann has said AI will “revolutionize” the video game development process, but warned the controversial technology poses “ethical issues”.

Druckmann, Studio Head and Head of Creative at The Last of Us and Uncharted developer Naughty Dog, issued the comment as part of an interview published by Sony about the company’s ‘Creative Entertainment Vision’. Druckmann was asked how he envisions the “fusion of storytelling and technology that will evolve over the next decade” as part of a Sony series that also revealed an idea for a futuristic PlayStation controller.

The Last of Us Part I. Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.
The Last of Us Part I. Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Here is Druckmann’s full response:

We see this exciting marriage of cutting-edge technology with traditional storytelling that pushes us into a future where improved fidelity is not just about achieving realism, but about broadening the spectrum from highly stylized images to ultra-realistic images. This expansion of possibilities is fueled by increasingly accessible tools that allow even non-technical people to use their imaginations and create worlds and stories to their heart’s content.

Furthermore, AI will truly revolutionize the way content is created, although it does raise some ethical issues that we need to address. With technologies like AI and the ability to do motion capture right from home, we’re reducing both costs and technical hurdles, opening the door for us to tackle more adventurous projects and push the boundaries of storytelling in games to shift. This evolution truly allows creators to bring their visions to life without the traditional obstacles.

Later in the interview, Druckmann said that AI will let Naughty Dog “create nuanced dialogue and characters, expanding creative possibilities,” but emphasized that it was “critical to precisely control these tools to achieve the intended results.”

“I emphasize mastering the basics over tools; with AI, your creativity sets the boundaries,” Druckmann said. “Understanding art history, composition and storytelling is essential to effective directing. Tools are evolving quickly – some tools that were once essential are now outdated. At Naughty Dog, we’ve gone from hand-animating ‘Jak and Daxter’ to the use of motion capture in ‘Uncharted”, which will allow us to significantly improve our storytelling. AI will allow us to create nuanced dialogue and characters, expanding the creative possibilities.

“Tools are evolving quickly: some tools that were once essential are now outdated.

Druckmann’s comments have caused a stir online, especially within the video game community, where the impact of AI is perhaps the hottest topic. Developers and gamers have expressed concerns about using AI to replace everything from voice acting to narrative design, but executives have continued to work hard on it, telling the investment community that it will fundamentally change the way video games are made and, as Druckmann alludes: saving costs.

As part of the same Sony series, Asad Qizilbash, Head of PlayStation Productions and Head of Product at PlayStation Studios, spoke about AI and said its use in video games is important for Gen Z and Gen Alpha gamers looking for “personalization in everything’.

“For example, non-player characters in games can interact with players based on their actions, making it feel more personal,” Qizilbash said. “This is important for the younger Gen Z and Gen Alpha audiences, the first generations to grow are going digital and are looking for personalization in everything, but also for experiences that are more meaningful.”

Earlier this month, EA CEO Andrew Wilson told the investment community that “more than 50% of our development processes will be positively impacted by advances in generative AI.” Wilson, who oversees EA Sports FC, The Sims and BioWare games, added that AI will make game development “more efficient”, revealing that EA Sports FC developers can now create stadiums in six weeks in instead of six months.

The Witcher voice actor Doug Cockle also expressed caution and frustration over the growing presence of AI within the video game industry, calling it “inevitable” but “dangerous”. Ironically, The Witcher studio CD Projekt Red is the largest developer to use AI for voice acting to date, although this was done alone to replace a deceased voice actor after obtaining permission from the family.

In March, video game developer Keywords Studios tried to create a game that used artificial intelligence alone, but failed because the technology “couldn’t replace talent.”

“One of the key lessons was that while Gen AI can simplify or speed up certain processes, the best results and quality needed can only be achieved by experts in their field who use Gen AI as a new, powerful tool in their creative process” , according to Keywords. .

Elsewhere in the Druckmann interview, the Last of Us director teased Naughty Dog’s new game, saying it could “redefine the mainstream perception of gaming.”

Wesley is the UK news editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.

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