Alexandre Audette Génier’s profession: AI Programmer

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In this series of three videos, we’ll look at several jobs to explain the everyday activities of the people who bring your favourite video games and characters to life. Today we’ll be talking with Alexandre Audette Génier, an artificial intelligence programmer at Ubisoft Montreal.

Can you describe your job at Ubisoft?

As an artificial intelligence programmer, my job is to program the characters in a game that are not controlled by a player. For example, they could be the police and passersby. We use code to give them a set of instructions in the game.

What is a typical day like for you?

Most of my day is spent programming new features for AI-controlled characters, for example to help a player out during the game. Plus, I frequently interact with other colleagues who are involved in the project, like game designers, animators, testers and artists. For example, I might talk to a game designer about the rules of selection to establish for various AI behaviours. In other words, what we want the AI character to be able to do.

What do you love most about your job?

The fact that I can combine computer programming with creativity. The simulated worlds we create are very complex. It’s an amazing feeling to have the chance to help develop them and see millions of people play the game you developed.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

To be honest, this type of job certainly isn’t lacking in technical challenges! Our worlds are becoming increasingly expansive and elaborate. The most important thing to remember when looking for solutions to these challenges is to work as a team, be open-minded and be creative.

What type of education do you need for this job?

A degree in computer science or software engineering is highly recommended if you want to get into the video game industry as a programmer.

What was that moment that made you say, “I want to work in the video game industry”?

I don’t think there was one particular moment. It’s the magic behind the game that attracted me—the desire to understand how the games I played were made and how the characters moved around, especially the ones that were not controlled by a player.

Do you have any advice for young people who are thinking of getting started in this job?

There are several free game development engines currently available online, like  . My advice is to download one of them and start having fun with it. Try to develop a little game of your own or follow the online tutorials. As for programming, it’s never too early or too late to learn how it works. Some websites, like, offer little programming games for different levels. Be curious, don’t be afraid to try and fail. Last but not least, don’t forget that math is a very important part of the job!

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