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Microsoft Partners With Inworld To Bring AI To Xbox Games

‘We want to help make it easier for developers to realise their visions,’ said Haiyan Zhang, general manager, gaming artificial intelligence at Xbox

Windows company Microsoft has partnered with character engine platform Inworld AI to develop Xbox tools that’ll allow developers to create AI-powered characters, quests and stories. The partnership over several years will involve an, “AI design copilot” system that Xbox developers can use to make complex scripts, dialogues, quest lines and more.

The multiplatform AI toolset will feature AI-powered tools for generating scripts, dialogue, and characters. These tools can be integrated into games to dynamically create stories, quests and dialogue.

Haiyan Zhang, general manager of gaming AI at Xbox said in the announcement, “At Xbox, we believe that with better tools, creators can make even more extraordinary games. This partnership will bring together: Inworld’s expertise in working with generative AI models for character development, Microsoft’s cutting-edge cloud-based AI solutions including Azure OpenAI Service, Microsoft Research’s technical insights into the future of play, and Team Xbox’s strengths in revolutionising accessible and responsible creator tools for all developers.”

AI-generated NPCs

Inworld is developing AI NPCs that can react to player questions like ChatGPT or Bing Chat, but in unique voices and with complex dialogue trees, even personalised dynamic storylines. The platform’s AI can also narrate games, allowing companions in top-down RPGs to warn of enemies or players ahead.

“AI has long been an integral part of game development, with applications ranging from enemy AI to procedural generation,” says Ilya Gelfenbeyn, CEO of Inworld AI in a blog post. “The emergence of large language models and generative AI has unlocked new opportunities for storytelling and character engagement within games.”

Microsoft is giving game developers the option to use this tool, so it’s their call to decide how much generative AI they want in their future games. The developer of The Finals, Embark Studios, had to explain why they used AI-generated voices, stating that the goal isn’t to eliminate actors in game development.

The use of generative AI in creative areas like game design or voice acting is a topic of debate, and the actors union SAG-AFTRA recently voted to allow strike action for video game performers. “Between the exploitative uses of AI and lagging wages, those who work in video games are facing many of the same issues as those who work in film and television,” said SAG-AFTRA’s chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez.

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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