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System Shock Remake Uses AI To Generate Image Of Evil AI

Publice reaction to Prime Matter’s use of artificial intelligence overwhelmingly hostile

Prime Matter, the publisher of the System Shock remake, is facing backlash for a recent marketing stunt. The company used generative AI Midjourney to create an illustration of Shodan, the evil AI from the game.

“An AI using AI to imagine what AI would look like in a physical form; doesn’t get more meta than that… which was the entire point of starting the conversation,” says publisher Prime Matter in a Tweet.

“We will use AI again to create other pieces (including artwork),” the System Shock publisher adds. “We may well use AI in other areas too. But this will never be at the expense of using skilled people or their creative talents.”

Instructing an AI to create an image of Shodan is rather clever. As user BoochieBoochie says, “Using AI to imagine AI about rogue AI is very on brand, it’s like these people upset don’t even know what the game’s about.”

But many vocal fans are upset that the company didn’t hire a human artist. This isn’t surprising considering the tension surrounding generative AI and creative works. Netflix Japan also received backlash earlier this year after using AI-generated images in its short anime Dog And Boy. The FTC even warns game developers that using generative AI to create video games may lead to legal issues.

With many users threatening to cancel pre-orders in response, synth_rain summed up some of the replies by saying, “If you’re gonna keep using AI which steals other artists’ work, I’m just gonna steal your games when they launch.” And there were a lot of messages simply inviting the OP to go forth and multiply.

The majority of the backlash was targeted at the System Shock remake’s developer Nightdive despite the Tweet coming from Prime Matter. However,  Nightdive did not use generative AI in developing the game.

“To be clear, no AI-generated art was used in the development of System Shock,” Nightdive director of business development Larry Kuperman told PC Gamer. The System Shock remake is set to release this month.

Nightdive’s Past Nosedive: Blade Runner Enhanced Edition

Nightdive is also responsible for Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, which received poor reviews upon release. However, the game has received more positive reviews since the developer released a patch fixing many of the title’s issues. Kuperman takes responsibility for the game’s poor launch. He stated he was aware of the game’s state but thought fans would appreciate it releasing on the Blade Runner film’s anniversary.

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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