‘What was that noise?.. Guess it was nothin”
Ubisoft has revealed that it is working on a new A.I. scriptwriting tool, which the publisher claims will help the studio’s writers by providing a “first draft” of the dialogue to be used by NPCs within its many, many, many open-world adventures.
Ubisoft Ghostwriter, for that is its name, has been developed by Ubisoft’s in-house research & development department, La Forge, and is intended to auto-create various in-world chatter and “barks” utilized by the dead-eyed suburbanites that you bump into in titles such as Watch_Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, and Far Cry. Ubisoft hopes that the tool will allow its writers to concentrate on “less repetitive” tasks — such as core scriptwriting and cutscene dialogue.
After the announcement, however, some developers took to social media, eyeing the new technology with more than few raised eyebrows. Sony Santa Monica’s Alanah Pearce suggested that editing clumsy A.I. dialogue is likely to take longer than simply writing it, while also noting that the money spent on building and implementing Ghostwriter could be better spent on the writing team. God of War director Cory Barlog simply responded to the news with a Kratos meme, which spoke volumes.
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. https://t.co/VKYPeMHiwY
— Alanah Pearce (@Charalanahzard) March 22, 2023
Of course, even if we can see use in Ubisoft Ghostwriter, the bigger concern is the fact that this is the thin end of the wedge for gaming, scripting, and writing in general. Today, it’s “NPC Barks”, tomorrow, “general dialogue”, a week later “dialogue outside of cutscenes, and eventually “most dialogue”, conveniently saving production companies a fortune in paying editors, proofers, and writers.
With each and every “advance” in A.I. technology made by the entertainment market, we creep closer and closer to a blander technological dystopia. Admittedly impressive breakthroughs in A.I. are clearly set to be fully appropriated by the bigger companies in gaming, film, comics, music, and other forms of entertainment as a way to make faster, cheaper, and easier content to feed the masses.
Without hyperbole, we seem to be accelrating toward a head-on collision with the blandest, most generic, and most worker-unfriendly entertainment market we have ever seen.
Ubisoft is developing an AI tool ‘that aims to support scriptwriters [VGC]