After the emergence of ChatGPT, AI has shone brightly this year. As the cultural industry closest to the virtual world, gaming is one of the important scenes where AI technology has been implemented most rapidly. Currently, the gaming industry stands at a crossroads filled with infinite possibilities.
After a two-year hiatus, the ChinaJoy International Digital Interactive Entertainment Exhibition returns offline in 2023. One of the highlights this year is the injection of new vitality into the gaming industry by AI.
This year, not only will there be the newly established AIGC conference, inviting industry representatives, experts, and scholars from both domestic and international AIGC fields to share the evolution and iteration of key AIGC technologies, but also many vendors will showcase their phased achievements in AI applications to face the market.
Will I lose my job?” This is a question that many game creators and developers are asking themselves in the era of AIGC.
Tao Ran, General Manager of Microsoft Greater China Azure Division, believes that game development and creation are creative activities driven by humans. The capabilities of AI, AIGC, and large language models can assist human AI “co-pilots” in the creative process. However, they will never replace game creators and developers in game development and creation. Humans have always been in control and will always be in control; this is a fundamental principle.
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Tao Ran pointed out at the ChinaJoy AIGC conference that we should not only consider large language models as the sole domain of AIGC’s impact on gaming. The ecosystem is the most valuable aspect. In the past, due to technological limitations, cost constraints, and resource limitations, it was difficult to balance speed, quality, and cost when developing games. Developers could only focus on two aspects. However, with the emergence of AIGC and large language models, all studios, developers, and publishers can efficiently and cost-effectively iterate on new game development and operations.
In the mid-20th century, the emergence of electronic games took people’s exploration of the virtual world from a visual and auditory level to a deeper level of cognition, perception, and interaction. It can be said that games provide extensive application prospects for AI, while AI also brings new changes to this global market worth 200 billion US dollars.
In the gaming industry, Microsoft sees that AIGC can empower many practical scenarios from the development stage, publishing stage, and operation stage to the player experience. In the past six months, Microsoft has also had discussions and collaborations with many domestic and international game manufacturers and studios for project implementation.
Specifically in the application process, AI can be applied both in-game content and in optimizing production processes. Huang Xinying, President of Kunlun Tech, shared how to use AI to achieve interactive methods between character partners and NPCs in gaming scenarios.
He believes that constructing the physical world requires the use of generative models while building the spiritual world requires establishing character relationships and social networks. Personalization of characters and social dialogue can be achieved through pre-trained language models.
In the field of NPCs, AI can greatly enhance the player experience. He said, ‘Stanford University’s simulation of a 25-person community using ChatGPT has proven that NPCs can create social networks and engage in social behaviors. Therefore, AI NPCs based on large language models can accompany players in games.’ Whoever can meet user demands with AI first will achieve success in the market.
From the perspective of AI technology application achievements, game companies such as Tencent and NetEase have made some gains and showcased their strengths at ChinaJoy. Since 2017, Tencent has collaborated with its AI lab team to initiate a series of technological application experiments in its game “Honor of Kings,” progressing from “Enlightenment” to “Deep Enlightenment.” While continuously deepening research on multi-agent gaming, Tencent is also gradually opening up its own technology and resource accumulation.
NetEase has established multiple research institutes and laboratories such as NetEase Fuxi and NetEase Interactive Entertainment AI Lab as early as 2017, dedicated to the development of various artificial intelligence technologies and their integration into the entire game industrialization process. Currently, at NetEase, artificial intelligence has significantly improved work efficiency in key production processes such as voice generation, original artwork generation, video motion capture, and model generation, achieving up to a 90% increase.
360, Mobvoi, and other internet companies also showcased their major achievements at ChinaJoy. Behind this is the wave of domestic large-scale models led by OpenAI, ushering in a ‘battle of hundred models’. Zhang Xiangzheng, President of 360 Brain, stated at the ChinaJoy AIGC conference that with the powerful content comprehension and user demand understanding capabilities of large-scale models, AI has brought new application scenarios in terms of needs, such as reshaping digital humans.
In the first half of this year, 360 leveraged its accumulated expertise in algorithms, data, engineering, and architecture over the years to release the cognitive universal large model of 360 Brain. Zhang Xiangzheng emphasized that for vertical industries and digital individuals, specific language corpora collected by 360 Brain are incorporated into pre-training and fine-tuning processes in order to possess professionalism and provide better results than general large models.
After having a personalized and customized knowledge base, digital information will be more in line with human expectations, rather than being ‘nonsense’ generated by large models themselves. With personality, memory, and soul, the applications of digital beings will ultimately be very diverse,” said Zhang Xiangzheng.
Mobvoi’s self-developed large model “Sequenced Monkey” is mainly used in the fields of dubbing and content generation. Li Wei, Vice President of Mobvoi, shared that currently, the company’s large model is leading the industry in terms of dubbing, with its largest paid customers including Magic Sound Workshop. The digital human production platform “Wonderful Text” can assist users in generating copywriting and writing novels or poems.
The impact of the AI wave is spreading to even further places. Currently, most people attending ChinaJoy are more excited than anxious about it. Ao Ran, Executive Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association believes that in the near future, as a field for technological innovation and experimentation, the gaming industry can create greater value for digital economic development by leveraging AIGC technology dividends.