Ubisoft’s have spoken about their AI tool, Ghostwriter, stating that it will help not hinder existing staff and isn’t intended to replace them in the development pipeline.
Speaking to industry newsletter Axios, research scientist for Ubisoft Ben Swanson said that the AI script-generating tech - which is used to create “barks” or random voice lines by NPCs - was created at the request of existing Ubisoft writers. He clarified this after the intense interest - and scrutinty - the announcement generated. In particular he noted that the tool still requires significant input from writers and would not be a replacement for any existing development staff.
“Artists, writers and coders will always be at the heart of the development process, and while AI can assist creators in their workflow, it’s the artistic vision and perspective of individuals that are essential in the creation of games,” he said.
The insistence from Ubisoft that this is a tool to assist writers, with their consent, is unsurprising. As Ubisoft has recently gone through a period of internal crises with many developers voicing their displeasure at the structure and attitude of the company towards its staff. Ubisoft leaning so heavily into AI during such times of upheaval were perhaps always going to require further explanation and clarification.
The decision to use it mainly for barks is also notable, as one of the most frequent arguments for the use of AI has been to reduce time spent on tedious tasks by developers. This includes texture work, generation of basic terrain and more, which - it is argued - have less potential for artistic expression but can be considered time-consuming if necessary, to flesh out a game world.
As noted in the newsletter, the tool is not yet part of the actual production pipeline for Ubisoft games. Swanson also iterated that it would not be used for key elements of a game’s story such as to, “generate plot, character backstories, lore or any of the other core elements of our narratives.”