July 19, 2024

Microsoft Collaborates with Inworld AI to Bring AI Characters to Xbox

Microsoft has announced a partnership with Inworld AI to develop tools that will enable developers to create AI-powered characters, stories, and quests for Xbox. The collaboration aims to provide an AI design copilot system, allowing Xbox developers to craft detailed scripts, dialogues, and quest lines.

Haiyan Zhang, General Manager of Gaming AI at Xbox, believes that the availability of better tools will empower creators to develop exceptional games. This collaboration will leverage Inworld’s expertise in generative AI models for character development, Microsoft’s cutting-edge cloud-based AI solutions like Azure OpenAI Service, Microsoft Research’s technical insights into the future of gaming, and Team Xbox’s proficiency in revolutionizing creator tools for all developers.

The multiplatform AI toolset will consist of an AI design copilot for scripts and dialogues, as well as an AI character engine that can be integrated into games, allowing for the dynamic generation of stories, quests, and dialogues.

Inworld AI has been actively working on AI non-player characters (NPCs) that can respond to players’ questions, similar to how ChatGPT or Bing Chat handles natural language queries. These AI NPCs can employ unique voices and incorporate complex dialogue trees or personalized dynamic storylines within a game. Furthermore, Inworld’s technology can be utilized for narration purposes, enabling companions in top-down role-playing games (RPGs) to warn players of upcoming groups of enemies.

Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO of Inworld AI, emphasizes that AI has been an integral part of game development for a long time, contributing to aspects like enemy AI and procedural generation. With the advent of large language models and generative AI, storytelling and character engagement in games have opened up new possibilities.

Microsoft is offering these AI tools as optional resources for game developers, granting them the flexibility to decide the extent of generative AI implementation in their future titles. The recent dispute surrounding the use of AI-generated voices surfaced when Embark Studios, the developer of Finals, faced criticism but defended its reliance on AI-generated voices. The company argued that the goal is not to eliminate actors from the gaming industry, as stated in a response to IGN.

The application of generative AI in creative fields such as game design and voice acting remains controversial. The actor’s union SAG-AFTRA even approved a strike authorization for video game performers, citing concerns about exploitative uses of AI and insufficient wages. Ray Rodriguez, SAG-AFTRA’s Chief Contracts Officer, highlights the common challenges faced by video game industry workers and those in the film and television industry.

Microsoft positions its tools as facilitators, similar to its approach with the Copilot system for Microsoft 365 and Windows. Zhang expresses the company’s desire to assist developers in realizing their creative visions, pushing the boundaries of gaming, and enhancing gameplay, player connections, and more. The collaboration will foster innovation with game creators in both Xbox studios and third-party studios, working together to develop tools that meet their requirements and inspire new possibilities for future games.

Note:

  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it