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Ubisoft insists yet again that its uncanny AI-generated ‘NEO-NPCs’ will make games ‘more alive and richer’, whatever that means

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Ubisoft wants investors to know that it’s still all-in on the AI-generated NPCs thing, according to a recent Q&A session (which you can access on the Ubisoft website). Fielding queries after a financial report, CEO Yves Guillemot insisted that there’s still a bright future for uncanny NPCs delivering awkward and stilted performances with precious little intention behind them.

Alright—that’s not entirely fair. There are some practical uses for AI in game development, either for boring, non-immersive grunt work that no-one else wants to do—as former WoW lead Ghostcrawler puts it, “crappy” tasks like “making the cliffs where the continent sloped into the ocean”. Alternatively, you can make the uncanny nature of said voicelines the point, while making sure the actors the AI is trained on get decent royalties out of the deal, I;E, what Stellaris is doing with its recent DLC.

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