Steam adds in-game reporting of “illegal content” in AI games

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Valve has added a new in-game reporting tool in Steam which allows players to flag “illegal content” in games which include live-generated AI content.

The new system is part of Valve’s recently announced initiatives to moderate AI content on Steam.

Developers will now be required to disclose any use of AI in their games when submitting them to Steam, and are divided into two categories – pre-generated and live-generated AI content.

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“Under the Steam Distribution Agreement, you promise Valve that your game will not include illegal or infringing content,” Valve stated in its new rules. For games with live-generated AI content, developers will also be required to explain what measures they’ve taken to “ensure it’s not generating illegal content”.

The new reporting tool has been introduced to allow players to submit reports if they spot “content that they believe should have been caught by the appropriate guardrails on AI generation”, and can be found in Steam’s in-game overlay.

“Today’s changes are the result of us improving our understanding of the landscape and risks in this space,” Valve said in its announcement of the changes it’s made, “as well as talking to game developers using AI, and those building AI tools.” The company said the new rules will “allow us to be much more open to releasing games using AI technology” on its platform.

Valve previously stated its desire to “welcome and encourage innovation” on Steam, following confusion over its policy on AI in July 2023. At the time, Valve said “it is the developer’s responsibility to make sure they have the appropriate rights to ship their game”, touching on one of the biggest points of discussion within the topic of AI.

The technology was a huge presence at GDC last year, where developers talked to Chris Tapsell about their responses to AI. Actors have spoken out about the battle against AI-driven deepfake mods which use their voices without permission, and the threat of theft. Embark Studios used AI voiceovers in its multiplayer shooter The Finals, which drew criticism from developers and actors.

Despite the potential backlash, companies are still keen on using AI in game development. In November, Microsoft announced a partnership with AI company Inworld AI to develop generative AI tools for Xbox’s studios. ZeniMax looks set to introduce AI into its workplace, after it came to a tentative agreement with the ZeniMax Workers United-CWA union which gives union members the right to guide AI implementation in their work.

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.