Ubisoft Develops AI Ghostwriter To Assist Game Dialogue Writers

Ubisoft has become the latest company to use AI for its potential benefit. The company, which is responsible for the "Far Cry," "Assassin's Creed," and "Watch Dogs" game franchises, has developed an AI model to write portions of dialogue for game development. Ubisoft joins a long list of big tech businesses that are embracing AI technology. Microsoft, Google, and Adobe are among the big names that have unveiled major AI projects in recent months.

The French-Canadian game developer's research and development department, La Forge, has been responsible for developing the AI, and believes it could save the company writers time and effort. Its job at present is to generate first drafts of background dialogue and conversations between NPCs, along with other things that make the company's game worlds "more immersive." 

Although it's early days, Ubisoft believes the new program will become an "integral part" of the company's game production pipeline. Ubisoft says the AI will assist its current staff, and most definitely isn't replacing them.

Ghostwriter seems to be as limited as other AI

There is a lot of worry around AI and its growing role in the world, but the technology is quite limited. Ghostwriter seems to be no exception, and Ubisoft seem to have acknowledged that with how it is being implemented. 

Firstly, it isn't responsible for writing any major game dialogue. From the looks of things, it is mainly there to generate throwaway comments used by background NPCs to make the game seem more alive and active. These comments don't really require much background, and are often just snippets of conversation.

The writing staff seem to be responsible for giving some basic information about the character before Ghostwriter generates multiple potential lines for the character to say. The actual human writer then goes through the generated lines, choosing any with potential. From there, the lines are then tweaked and edited to bring them up to standard with what the writer would produce themselves. 

This entire process is also fed back into the AI, which the company believes will make it more effective as time goes on. There is also hope to expand Ghostwirer's capabilities through a back-end tool called Ernestine, which allows writers to specifically train the AI to meet their own specific needs. While Ubisoft claims Ghostwriter is there to help its writers work more effectively and focus on bigger, more important parts of the game — the company's fanbase isn't so sure.

The news doesn't seem to be going down well

While Ubisoft seems optimistic about the impact the new AI will have on its games and the writing staff, the comment section below the video they posted on YouTube was far less positive. 

Many commenters took an opportunity to criticize the quality of writing Ubisoft currently has in its games, and the way the company is managed. One YouTube user Ashtray Comms commented: "Wow! A tool to help make Ubisoft writing even worse than it already is! What an incredible innovation." 

One commenter Nyx wrote: "Alternate title: Ubisoft has found a way to rip even MORE of the heart and soul out of their games dialogue." A user called "Boo" chipped in with "what a wonderful way to make your game worlds feel robotic and soulless."

A similar attitude was conveyed on Twitter. Some users expressed concern for Ubisoft's writing staff, insinuating they were doing what they can to get out of paying people, and suggesting the company's writers were training the tool that would eventually replace them. Others pointed towards the company's recent studio closures and layoffs as evidence that this could be a tool that ultimately hurts people who work within the industry. 

AI is still developing, so it's impossible to know where things will go for Ubisoft and the tech world as a whole. But there are bigger concerns for AI tech than the quality of NPC dialogue in the next "Assassin's Creed."