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Dragon Age Writer Says AI Writing Is ‘Soulless’ And Can’t Deliver Memorable Storytelling

David Gaider believes that artificial intelligence can assist writers but advises companies against using it to replace them

As the world gradually adopts AI, some video game developers are already looking to bring AI-powered NPCs to upcoming games. Mass Effect developer Bioware has attempted to use the procedural generator for scripts but the results were “soulless,” according to their former narrative lead, David Gaider.

He took to Twitter to respond to an article from the Guardian that talks about the possibility of AI systems penning scripts for game developers rather than actual staff writers.

The former Bioware man touched on the time when the Dragon Age developer took a shot at, “Procedural content generation,” and the result was below expectations. And that although AI produced countless RPG-style quests, none of them were better than the standard, “Bring me 20 beetle heads.”

It is entirely understandable that BioWare did not aim for such an outcome in their approach to quest design in games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

AI replacing game writers

Gaider wrote on Twitter, “Sure, yes, yes, I can already see someone responding “but the tech is just ~beginning~!” Look, if we ever get to the point where an AI successfully substitutes for actual human intuition and soul, then them making games will be the least of our problems, OK?”

Gaider further emphasises that developers should not expect anything beyond standard and mundane writing from AI. The Canadian writer concludes that unfortunately, developers might mistakenly believe that they can extract more from an AI, but they will undoubtedly be mistaken in their assumptions.

When considering renowned titles from BioWare such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect, some notable attributes often associated with them include their storylines and unforgettable characters. Gaider is confident that AI cannot deliver in that aspect or even provide players with memorable storytelling moments.

In responding to a comment on his tweet, Gaider says AI can assist writers, rather than replace them. “I’d say there’s a way for this to work. AI could potentially assist writers. I suspect what a lot of companies hear, however, is “replace writers.”

The Calling author is currently working on his next adventure game Stray Gods, a musical roleplaying title that’ll see Greek gods intersect with humans.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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