Former President of Sony Interactive Entertainment Shuhei Yoshida weighed in on the use of AI in the creation of media, specifically video games, calling it a “tool that needs to be used.”

Shuhei Yoshida getting lunch at the Game Developers Conference 2022. Photo Credit: Cade Peterson, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

In an interview with The Guardian, Yoshida shared his thoughts on how AI can be used in gaming and game design. Specifically, he focused on how AI could help out new independent developers.

“It is a tool,” says Yoshida, “Someone has to use the tool. AI can produce very strange things as you must have seen. You really have to be able to use the tool well.”

However, he did note he sees AI as a gamechanger, “AI will change the nature of learning for game developers, but in the end development will be more efficient, and more beautiful things will be made by people.”

Kratos (Christopher Judge) warms himself by the fire ahead of his new adventure in God of War: Ragnarök (2022), Sony Santa Monica Studios via YouTube

Kratos (Christopher Judge) warms himself by the fire ahead of his new adventure in God of War: Ragnarök (2022), Sony Santa Monica Studios via YouTube

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Yoshida went on to elaborate on how he believes the proliferation of AI might be a game changer. He pointed to how it could lead to less barriers to entry for potential game developers.

“People might not need to learn programming anymore if they have learned how to use these tools,” he speculated. “The creativity is more important, the direction, how you envision what you want.”

Aloy (Ashly Burch) assures Seyka (Kylie Liya Page) that she won't leave her behind in Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores (2023), Guerilla Games

Aloy (Ashly Burch) assures Seyka (Kylie Liya Page) that she won’t leave her behind in Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores (2023), Guerilla Games

Yoshida has taken a more positive approach towards the use of AI in game development compared to other industries, such as artists.

Artists have recently banded together to create a lawsuit against AI art creator, Mid Journey AI that creates images from scratch using different artists and images as a foundation for its creations.

In contrast, Yoshida has a very positive opinion of the games industry, seeing it as a place that will “always be fun”, but also believes that technological advancement plays a key part in keeping game development constantly progressing and evolving.

Nathan Drake in Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (2022), Sony

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“Just like in the 90s, it’s the talent, not the technology of the business model that defines the future.” he says, “The industry keeps growing and growing. I hope it keeps supporting and chasing creative ideas and people who try to work on new things. ”

He ends with a worry that many gamers have shared over the last two decades, “You don’t want to see the top ten games every year being almost the same, all games becoming service games. That would be a bit boring to me”

Gran Turismo 7 (2022), Sony Interactive Entertainment

Interestingly, Sony AI rolled out their Gran Turismo Sophy Race Together mode as a time-limited in-game event back in February that allowed players to race against GT Sophy. Chief Operating Officer of Sony AI Michael Spranger explained the new mode, “From the beginning, Gran Turismo Sophy was always about more than just being superhuman; we aspired to create an AI agent that would enhance the experience of players of all levels, and to make this experience available to everyone. We have now accomplished this with GT Sophy Race Together mode.”

He added, “This signifies a major milestone for our organization and our mission to unleash human imagination and creativity with AI. We look forward to continuing our work on GT Sophy and other gaming AI projects in the future.”

Further explaining this mode, Polyphony Digital Inc. President Kazunori Yamauchi said, “Unlike the conventional built-in AI, GT Sophy drives with continuity in a large variety of situations, which allows users to enjoy the excitement of a close battle as if they are playing against a professional racing driver. This is an important evolution even from the standpoint of racing game history. We will continue to evolve GT Sophy to realize our concept of ‘Race Together,’ where we envision providing a fun opponent for players to race against and learn from.”

AI being used in the industry is still in its infancy, but we have seen first hand what happens when careless developers rely too heavily on AI. Such was the case with the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy, which relied heavily on AI upscaling tools to “improve the graphics” but ended up creating games which were heavily criticized.

One would hope that developers take a look at that mistake and try their best to never relive it in the future.

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