Artificial intelligence in the video game industry: Part 2 of 3

R & D

In the previous article, we compared the recent development of both the video game industry and artificial intelligence and explored the challenges attached to the extremely fast advancement of these technologies. Let us now discuss the obstacles of applying the results of this research to everyday life.

First, the difficulty of adoption. This difficulty is inherent in any change, but AI could fundamentally reshape certain types of jobs. It’s easy to see this as a threat as well as a dumbing down of sorts.

Artificial intelligence is evolving at breakneck speed; our organizations and processes, not so much. This two-tiered system is far from suitable for utilizing AI to its full potential. Debates on intellectual property, recruitment processes and legal validation are also stumbling blocks to innovation. And these stumbling blocks cause even more problems when applied to new types of jobs and relatively new ideas.

New technology, new issues

The results themselves are shaking up most regulations and raising new ethical questions. Who owns the data? What are the limits? Should AI reflect our cognitive biases or be inclusive and influential? What are the criteria, and who decides? What about authorship and rights if an AI can create something? Is creating an image, a piece of music, a text or generating a voice the same thing? Who is responsible for the consequences of problems with autonomous vehicles?

Three elements to consider

Actionable AI development requires three key elements: data, expertise, and business opportunity. However, it’s rare to find all three elements in the same place: expertise is still rare, and data falls within the purview of established companies that are not necessarily willing to develop new services outside of their business domain; they thus don’t see the data as a business opportunity.

Most industrial AI results are, in fact, academic: the role of the university is to create public knowledge. So how is it possible to capitalize on an innovation that is available to everyone on the Internet? How can this availability be integrated into corporate culture, which is often not as open?

As we can see, AI’s nature, ecosystem, and potential represent more than simply a new technology to be mastered. Some speak of it in terms of a fourth industrial revolution. We have little in terms of references or points of comparison.

The emergence of the Internet has fundamentally changed the way we work and communicate simply by accelerating our capacity to access and share information. The Internet did not open up new possibilities but rather amplified existing ones. AI is not a new thing, but breakthroughs in machine learning are. They are opening doors to a place that could significantly modify not just our activities, but also our identity.

Andrew Ng summed up this idea quite well when he said that if we’re looking for a reference, AI is as ground-breaking as electricity was in the past.

Creating a suitable context for innovation

Most ground-breaking innovations are the result of an economic, social, or cultural crisis. War, revolution, and bankruptcy are all opportunities for thoroughly reconsidering knowledge, convictions, and rules. They force us to start from scratch, shift our paradigms, and reinvent ourselves. Is it possible to profit from the beneficial impacts of a crisis without suffering the dire consequences?

Our industry is growing. Creating a video game is a complex process; it mobilizes hundreds of people performing dozens of different jobs in different studios all around the world for several years. For a single game. We must constantly seek a balance between the efficiency of proven processes and our creative imperative.

Within this context of seeking balance, we’ve created Ubisoft La Forge, a prototyping space that brings to life technological ideas that are the result of collaboration between academic researchers and production teams. Here, we can find all three key elements: data, expertise, and business opportunities.

In the next article, we will discuss the idea behind the creation of La Forge, as well as possible applications of artificial intelligence research for video games in everyday life.