There’s been a shit tonne of controversy around the rabid rise of interest in using AI for pretty much everything. The likes of Google and Microsoft and investing billions into AI with a big expectation that it will become a massive part of the future in all industries. But at the same time theres a large number of lawsuits coming it’s way for a multitude of reasons. One of the biggest concerns is the use of copyright material which is being used to create written content and images.
But the impact could be far greater and far more damaging. What’s the real reason businesses would want to use AI? Well, perhaps the biggest risk is the ease in which it could make jobs less important. It’s still a way from happening, but it’s an end goal I have no doubt many businesses are willing to wait for. Replace artists, programmers and maybe even musicians with AI generated content and not only could you knock out a game much faster, you could also do so far cheaper. There could be huge savings from the fact these developers and publishers no longer need not just the teams of people making the games, but also significantly less office space which itself has huge costs attached. And of course, there’s the most important part of it all. Continue selling the games at £70 or higher and reap the increased profits.
From a consumer point of view, many would likely be on board with the whole idea of an AI created gaming future if it meant faster turn around speeds. Just glancing at the way people get aggressive online from any game, real or rumoured, to take more than a month to be released says a lot about their mindset. Heck, look at the whole writers strike situation and the responses they’ve received from a large number of people on social media platforms. The whole “get a real job” and “AI would make better scripts than the shit you produce” is a real concern.
So quality is certainly a big issue we could see degrade as computers can’t determine what’s good and what’s not. That’s a human trait. Already this past week, a media outlet which I won’t name but it’s not anyone like IGN, has made significant cut backs in staffing with the aim of generating over 200 articles per week using AI. Just one person will be employed to edit the articles to be published. That should worry you, even if you think journalists are shit at their jobs or aren’t a real profession.
If they can get rid of journalists and artists etc, then where does it stop? With billions being thrown at the research of AI, and it’s going to get significantly better over the coming decade, when does it really make a start impacting job security. And remember this won’t be just targeting the media industry. It’ll affect all jobs. Driverless cars and public transportation is currently being cited as a big area AI can be used to better move the technology forward. Already in Scotland, Stagecoach are starting plans to trial driverless buses along a single route. It’ll have staff onboard to override the bus should anything go wrong, but it’s a start of something that all companies want. Less employees. The London Underground is already moving in that direction with the lack of a need to have drivers.
The question you need to start ask is, outside of potential faster entertainment content, is this a future you really want? Yes this is a technology that won’t be really able to create anything like big games for a decade or more, but it’s the end game. Or, one of the end games. And that’s assuming the billions being spent doesn’t hit a breakthrough sooner. What we need to ask is, what happens when jobs become more scarce and people become unemployed due to a lack of requirements. As more industries want this to be a future, it’s a significant force that could be very difficult to keep on top of from a law making perspective.
It’s not necessarily a “what if” question if it’s something businesses are already starting to either outright implement or at least openly excitedly talk about implementing soon. Ubisoft is one such gaming company that has opened their mouths with excitement to using AI.
Once upon a time when computers were seen as the future, some sixty odd years ago, the notion put forward was how amazing the future would be. When computers become increasingly more sophisticated, it will allow for everyone to have more free time on their hands. Money generated from a computerised world would trickle down to allow people to have a better, life of leisure. A notion created to try and ease the very real and understandable fear many people had. It was total bullshit and they knew it. It’s not how capitalism works.
Heck go back further to the early days of the Industrial Revolution and see what happened when it became obvious factory work using machines were going to take away the jobs of what was effectively a cottage industry. We got the Luddite riots. People were literally smashing machines in protest of the changes. It’s been over two hundred years and we are seeing history repeat itself once again. It’s only a matter of time before it really starts to hurt many hundreds of thousands of people’s lives.