As tech companies continue to push for AI development, the humans expected to use such tools are increasingly sounding the alarm about potential job losses and the poor-quality content that could result from AI tools.

Microsoft and its M12 Ventures portfolio company, Inworld AI, announced that the tech firms are developing generative AI tools for video games. Billed as a two-part toolkit, the AI offering for game developers consists of an AI “design copilot” and an AI character runtime engine to help developers craft narratives, quests, and other game elements, according to Microsoft’s announcement Monday.

But when The Game Awards (TGA) reshared the news online, a flurry of angry game developers, voice actors, game writers, television writers, and influencers took to Twitter to express their frustration, arguing the news was a tone-deaf decision in an industry that’s already been plagued with over 6,000 layoffs this year alone. 

While Microsoft framed the planned AI tools as a way for developers to “empower” themselves, the onslaught of industry rage suggests the news has made actors and writers feel anything but.

“I fucking hate this,” said Mary Kenney, who is the Associate Narrative Director for Marvel’s upcoming Wolverine PS5 game at Insomniac Games. “TGA, as a member of your Future Class: this does not honor or celebrate our work, and you should be ashamed of devaluing artists this way.” 

AI is egregiously disrespectful and dangerous to the workers who pour their time and creativity into making the games we love,” wrote Apex Legends and Destiny 2 voice actor Erika Ishii. “In a year with thousands of layoffs despite record corporate profits, I sincerely hope to see peers and fans stand with devs and our labor movements,” Ishii added.

“Please don’t steal jobs from VO actors and writers and humans,” wrote “Supernatural” actor Felicia Day in response to the news.

Voice actor Shelby Young called the news “scary.”

“This will make it even harder for new talent to break into video games,” Young said. “I’m worried for game devs and writers as well.”

Insomniac Games writer Brittney Morris also questioned Microsoft’s positioning of AI tools as something that could help writers.

“Imagine calling AI a ‘powerful tool for game developers’ when it literally exists to replace us. We will not be gaslit,” Morris said. 

“I will never play any game that Inworld has any part in making,” added Sony Santa Monica game writer Alanah Pearce.

“Dumb money move, vapid artistically, and damaging to the C-suite who approved it,” concluded Apex Legends and God of War: Ragnarok voice actor Ben Prendergast.

While big tech companies continue to lean into the AI hype as funding in the sector skyrockets, they’ll have to reckon with the hordes of passionate artists who seek to protect their craft—and fear there isn’t a world where all can unanimously benefit.

Decrypt reached out to Microsoft and Inworld AI for comment, but did not immediately receive a response from either company.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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