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Generative AI Could Lead to Legal Issues for Game Developers

Using artificial intelligence to create games may make it difficult to protect new characters and IPs

Photo Credit: Sasun Bughdaryan

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.

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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