Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot says generative AI will be ‘considered and tested’ – and it looks XXXX

In Ubisoft’s closed-door preview Neo NPC Generative AI ProjectUbisoft CEO Yves Guillemot was asked by VG247 during an interview if he was worried that the company’s push would be negatively impacted like the company’s previous forays into NFTs and Web 3. In response, Guillemot said all new evolutions must be “considered and tested”.

“I think what you have to consider is that all new evolutions have to be considered and tested,” he told me after the preview. “I think generative AI has really been in our industry for a long time. Now we’re taking another step forward because there’s a lot of investment in this area, so video games will use it just like other industries. “

Ubisoft’s controversial experiment with Quartz NFTs was directly related to Ghost Recon Breakpoint, but quietly ended after being briefly revealed to the public. Later in 2023, Ubisoft will also announce a partnership with Web 3 platform Immutable, which is arguably a statement that the industry giant doesn’t shy away from using controversial technology (see also: Square Enix).

Now, the same is true for generative AI. Ubisoft is not alone, with other industry leaders such as Square Enix also testing the technology and looking for applications in video games. Ubisoft is also actively involved in the arms race to find generative artificial intelligence in video games.

It all started with Neo NPCs—Ubisoft’s initial embrace of generative AI, a collection of three proof-of-concept demos I saw at GDC. In these demos, players can give voice prompts to NPCs, who in turn respond with characters through voice, facial expressions, and gestures.

These include intimate conversations with rebels, ongoing adaptive dialogue during missions, and the ability to change an NPC’s mind when preparing for a heist. As the current developers and Guillemot himself are keen to emphasize, all of this is in an experimental stage.

In terms of investment, generative AI does have a lot of financial benefits. Earlier in the day, NVIDIA demonstrated a selection of generative AI technologies at GDC 2024, including NVIDIA Ace for speech and animation and NVIDIA NeMo for language. Both use generative artificial intelligence and have been a factor in NVIDIA’s stock price rise in recent days.

As far as initial impressions go, these Neo NPC proof-of-concepts are interesting tasters, rather than the full-on AI super-games that many have been speculating about since the technology gained notoriety in recent years. In its current form, it’s a fun gimmick that can be truly entertaining, although it’s obviously not perfect in its current form. Whether this can be applied to the full gaming experience while retaining its appeal remains to be seen – but in my brief time with the game, I can’t deny its charm. A fuller impression of VG247 will be provided later.

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