9 May 2023
AI and games – 1 of 6 Insights
The video games industry has been using artificial intelligence for decades. The first chess machines capable of playing chess or simplified chess-like games entered the market as far back as the 1950s in the tube computer age. By 1997, chess engines running on super-computers or specialised hardware were capable of defeating even the best human players. Although the use of AI is not new to the video games industry, the recent rise of new technologies like Chat GPT or Stable Diffusion, may change the way games are designed, developed, and experienced.
The low entry barrier makes generative AI models like Chat GPT easily accessible, as with simple prompts, pictures and even computer code can be drafted within seconds. But as we all know “with great power comes great responsibility” or at least a lot of associated legal issues.
Generative AI works by learning patterns and structures from a huge volume of data sets/content. This data typically consists of text, images, or other forms of media such as music or computer code. The training data for an AI model can be obtained from various sources, such as publicly available datasets like Common Crawl, by scraping the web or mining open source repositories. Once the AI tool is trained to recognise certain patterns it can generate output based on a text input (prompt). In the video games industry, there are many potential use cases, reaching from art, music, and computer code to level design, pitches and marketing materials.
Generative AI can improve in-game player experience by creating lifelike situations and offering a more immersive experience. It's already being used in a wide range of areas including:
With the rise of use-cases come a variety of legal issues. These are made all the more complicated as video games are multi-jurisdictional products and each jurisdiction has its own laws and courts. Here are some key issues (mostly from an Austrian and EU perspective). These are discussed in more detail in our Interface edition focusing on AI and video games.
The potential legal consequences of infringement in addition to the typical fines for violations of data protection laws are far reaching. The affected parties can potentially claim a range of remedies, including 'cease and desist' orders, removal of the video game from the stores and damages. This is in addition to reputational damage.
Keeping on top of developments
Games developers and publishers looking to use AI-driven tools in their games need to consider a wide range of legal issues which may not always have clear answers given the disruptive nature of the technology. The lack of clarity is exacerbated by the fact that the EU and other countries are working on how best to regulate AI but there is a lack of global consensus. While AI models can be used to enhance gameplay and user experience, they should always be used carefully.
Read more about AI and video games in our Interface edition.
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