Amidst a recent new wave of interest in AI technology, a number of gaming companies have lately been addressing what this means for them and their businesses. Count EA among them now, as CEO Andrew Wilson and COO Laura Miele addressed the future of games, AI, and EA on the company’s Q4 earnings call.
Addressing a question about AI, Wilson began by saying that the games industry would probably be “one of the greatest beneficiaries of AI.” He described AI as an “augment” to EA’s teams, as well as a way to allow players to create content within EA’s worlds.
However, he also addressed some fears about AI in…not the most reassuring way.
“The fear of displacement of the workforce is something we read a lot about and we talk a lot about,” Wilson said. “And as we think about every revolution over the course of time from the agricultural revolution to the industrial revolution and on, there has been displacement of the workforce in the near term, and then meaningful increases in workforce opportunities over the longer term. Our hope is that AI represents the same opportunity, and we’re working very closely inside of our company to ensure that our people benefit in that way and actually facilitate them to do more things.”
Wilson also addressed other concerns, noting that issues around ownership of AI output were not a concern for EA given its 40+ years of internal data and owned content an AI could conceivably learn from. He also remarked on concerns about bad actors using AI, promising that EA would work with others across the industry as well as governments and regulators to make laws around AI to protect consumers.
At this point, Wilson tossed to Miele who reiterated a number of Wilson’s points, adding that EA’s partnerships similarly put the company in a strong position for training AI thanks to data from third-parties like La Liga.
Then, Miele mused on the numerous possibilities for AI use in live service games.
“So in game development you would imagine the velocity of content, creative iteration is going to be advantaged greatly by having really smart content tools. Andrew mentioned creator content, lifelike animation, realtime text-to-speech for players and what that will mean for them and the experiences they have. As we think about live game support at scale there’s going to be some really great imagery detection, issue detection, economic modeling that we’re going to be able to apply as we continue to grow these connected ecosystems. So we’re pretty opstimistic and excited and inspired about this new wave of AI.”
EA executives also talked about the possibility of Apex Legends content crossovers in the future, and Andrew Wilson said the potential acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft is “not really material” to EA. For more on the subject of AI, IGN recently held an AI Week of articles and video content all about the nascent technology.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.