Generative AI is coming to the game industry and brings new legal concerns. In February, Roblox announced it aims to aid creators in developing content by providing generative AI tools in the future. In a similar vein, Scenario is a new image-generative AI specifically for game design. And that’s just the beginning.
While generative AI may be fairly new to the industry, AI has long been essential in creating video games. Often AI controls the behaviours of non-player characters (NPCs) within games. This allows NPCs to react dynamically to the player’s actions, making for more immersive titles. AI also enhances gameplay by providing intelligent enemies and aids in personalising gameplay by adapting to each player’s preferred playstyle.
However, generative AI differs from traditional AI in that it can create images, music, text or code after training on a large amount of specific data. Often copyrighted content is used to train generative AIs raising the question of whether developers have the right to use such content. Since generative AIs sometimes train on content found across the web, collecting the training data is also a potential liability. Even pulling from open-source software can be problematic as such content comes with licensing agreements, often prohibiting commercial use.
Then there’s the issue of whether AI-generated content is protected by copyright. Currently, in the US, generative AI output isn’t protected by copyright laws, making it challenging to stop others from using a company’s AI-generated content for their own purposes.
Plus, of course, there are issues of privacy. Avatar-generating app Lensa is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly using the app’s user’s facial geometry data, which violates Illinois 2008 Biometric Information and Privacy Act.
The FTC offers guidance
The Federal Trade Commission is offering guidance on ethically and legally using generative AI. According to the FTC, game designers should properly test AI components before releasing a game to ensure it works correctly. The FTC also recommends that game developers are transparent in their use of AI and suggests they consider how the use of AI within their games will affect the player.
Despite the potential legal worries, it doesn’t appear that generative AI is going away anytime soon. In fact, AI tools will likely continue to take on more responsibilities in game development in the future.