Ubisoft has announced a new in-house AI tool, called Ghostwriter, designed to assist in writing NPC chatter in its games.
The publisher says Ghostwriter will be deployed to “alleviate one of the video game writer’s most laborious tasks” in generating a first draft of ambient NPC phrases and sounds, but reckons it’s not out to completely replace scriptwriters.
Ubisoft says (and rightly so) that the time and creative effort from scriptwriters to create crowd chatter, which is a key component in player immersion with NPCs speaking to each other, enemy dialogue during combat, or an exchange triggered when entering an area all adding up to a more realistic world experience, could be better spent on core narrative writing tasks. The idea of this new AI tool, then, is to take some of the edge off of a writer’s workload while still affording them creative control at the end of the day. That doesn’t make the idea any less precarious, though.
“Rather than writing first draft versions themselves, Ghostwriter lets scriptwriters select and polish the samples generated,” explains Ben Swanson, R&D Scientist at La Forge Montreal and creator of Ghostwriter.
Still, despite Ubisoft’s adamance that this new tool isn’t designed to outright do the work or replace anybody, it’s easy to see the slippery slope that it lays out – especially when AI-generated voice models are also threatening to encroach on the flipside of the narrative business in voice actors.
You can read the full statement announcing Ghostwriter and chronicling the journey to its creation here.