Ubisoft Is Developing A New Tool That Will Create Dialogues In Video Games Using AI

Developers at Ubisoft, the renowned video game creator famous for producing titles like the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, have begun work on a new AI tool called Ghostwriter.

This tool aims to partially automate the writing of in-game dialogue by using machine learning to draft short lines of dialogue known as “barks.” NPCs in video games often use barks to convey quick messages triggered by in-game events, such as “Reloadin’!” or “Took an arrow to the knee.” According to Ubisoft, this is an ideal use case for machine learning, allowing them to generate countless barks efficiently.

Ubisoft’s Ghostwriter AI tool allows scriptwriters to efficiently generate in-game dialogue by following a simple process. First, the writer creates a character and specifies the type of interaction or line of dialogue they want to produce, such as “excited,” “irritated,” or “confident.” The AI then generates pairs of different variations based on the selected mode. The writer can then review and choose the best version between the two and make any necessary manual edits.

“Ghostwriter isn’t replacing the video game writer, but instead, alleviating one of the video game writer’s most laborious tasks: writing barks,” the developer assured in a press release. “Ghostwriter effectively generates first drafts of barks — phrases or sounds made by NPCs during a triggered event — which gives scriptwriters more time to polish the narrative elsewhere.”

Ben Swanson, the creator of Ghostwriter and an R&D scientist at Ubisoft LaForge, explained that instead of creating first drafts themselves, scriptwriters can select and refine the samples generated by the AI. Swanson added that as writers use the tool more, Ghostwriter will become smarter and more tailored to their preferences.

During a talk at the Games Developer Conference, Swanson compared Ghostwriter to rolling a 30,000-sided die with each face representing a word. The AI will keep rolling the dice until it produces a complete sentence, as reported by Game Developer.

Swanson also affirmed that the tool requires human input and wouldn’t work if Ubisoft’s writers weren’t already enthusiastic about using it.

Addressing the industry’s uneasy foray into AI, Swanson urged other developers to not use other generative AI like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and to instead develop their own tools, warning that they may not own the content it produces or the data going into it.

“You don’t know what these companies are going to do,” he said. “If you’re trying to build these systems, keep lines of communication and talk to narrative designers and scriptwriters.”

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