OPINION: AI technology continues to improve video games but at a cost

Apr 16, 2024 | OP-ED, Opinion

As AI technology grows, many industries use it more frequently, since it is seen as a useful tool to ensure smaller tasks are done quickly.

The video game industry is no stranger to using AI technology for game creation, such as letting it control Non-Player Characters in video games.

The Game Developers Conference’s “2024 State of the Industry survey” reported that 49 per cent of game developers said AI technology is already in use at their workplace.

The survey also showed 84 per cent of game developers said they are somewhat or very concerned about the ethics of using AI technology.

However, video game companies have started using AI technology for larger roles, to the point they let it build the game practically independently.

This has led to AI technology bringing a lot of unnecessary risks to the video game industry.

Humber College Game Programming Professor Jordan Sparks said while AI technology can be beneficial, it’s starting to be used too frequently.

He said there is a place for AI in some capacity. But Sparks said he thinks “it’s not exactly being thrust in the most ethical or best way.

“There are sort of ways that it can be really useful for tools to help us make things easier or remove some of the tedious work that sort of comes into making games and other things, but I do think that it is being pushed into the direction of let’s replace actual people, and that’s been a bit of a problem,” he said.

AI technology has also led to many game developers feeling insecure about their job, and how they could lose it to AI technology.

The main motivation behind video game companies using AI is to cut costs and make products faster than humans.

Sparks said if video game companies continue to cut corners like this, it could lead to many job losses.

“We’re starting to see AI being pushed as a solution to things or a way for people to cut costs by laying off people,” he said. “I think that if we don’t reconcile with that, we’re going to have a huge employment problem because you’re going to have a bunch of skilled people who can’t get jobs, because AI generative processes are replacing the jobs.”

AI technology has helped make aspects of the video game creation process and sometimes helped game developers create bigger projects they always dreamed of making.

However, the growth of AI technology in the industry is simply based on greed and creating a faster development process, but people seem to forget what humans can bring to the table.

Humans may take longer to create a game, and people who promote AI technology forget that humans with this talent are the true professionals who can make a fun and engaging experience for the right players.

Humans understand their target audiences better and put more passion into a game than a simple program would.

“I think that there are ways, again, that we can use AI as a way to make ourselves more productive and create even better work, but that’s not where the main focus is going right now,” Sparks said.