Xbox's Sarah Bond Says AI Will Be Great For Game Development
"You're really going to see game development be further democratized by the power of AI."
Xbox corporate vice president Sarah Bond has commented on the impact that artificial intelligence could have on the gaming world. Speaking to Inverse, Bond said AI stands to play a role in positively affecting game development by helping a wider base of people become game developers. Her enthusiasm for AI in gaming isn't a surprise, as Microsoft paid ChatGPT company OpenAI $10 billion to invest in various AI initiatives.
"You're really going to see game development be further democratized by the power of AI," Bond said. "There's going to be a game developer or game creator copilot that makes it easier for anybody to create a game, even if they are not deeply schooled in computer science or how to use Unity."
Bond went on to say that it won't be long until "playing a game and creating a game being synonymous."
"Music and video have had far more democratization of creators. I see the need so clearly. I meet so many people who want to create a game," Bond added.
Back in February, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said AI will be an additive, positive force for gaming. "Absolutely, [AI] will play a role in video games. AI always has. I get excited about some of the work that the team is doing. It gives them more of a canvas," he said. "Whether it's simulated physics, whether it's 3D rendering, whether it's great audio technology. What I find is when you give our creators new tools to play with, they then work it--sometimes it takes a couple years to find them rhythm of how everything fits in."
Some observers have spoken critically about the impact of AI on video games, in part for how AI systems might carry a negative personnel impact for, among other disciplines, voice acting.
Before this, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said every Microsoft product--including Xbox--would benefit from advancements to AI technology, so hearing Spencer and Bond speak positively about the potential for AI in video games is no surprise. And again, Microsoft is financially invested in AI becoming a success.
Looking at the wider gaming industry, Battlefield publisher Electronic Arts is working on AI technology, and has been for years. In 2018, EA announced Project Atlas, an R&D project with 1,000 people working on it that aims to change how games are made through AI and neural networks. This technology was implemented into the Battlefield series, and it was smart enough to play the game and even play the objective.
More recently, Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick said AI may have a role to play in video game development, but it won't allow a developer to create a true GTA competitor very easily.
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