Cyberpunk’s quest director says CD Projekt Red has experimented with generative AI, but there’s still a ‘gigantic, really long way to go’ before AI NPCs are as good as scripted characters

Numerous game companies are currently experimenting with NPCs powered by generative AI, from Nvidia’s Convai-powered ramen connoisseur, to Ubisoft‘s GDC showcase of its “Neo NPCs”. There is potential for interesting game design using these technologies, with Ubisoft boldly claiming the tech could “transform the way players interact with non-playable characters”. Yet the quest designer involved in creating some of the best handcrafted NPCs in existence – CD Projekt Red’s Pawel Sasko – believes there’s a “gigantic, really long way to go” before AI NPCs will match the quality of scripted characters.

Speaking to Aftermath, Sasko revealed that the studio behind Cyberpunk 2077 has done some R&D on AI. He didn’t specify what experiments the company had done, but at a personal level, Sasko is deeply sceptical that AI-generated NPCs can achieve the same level of depth and nuance that a human writer can imbue into a character.

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By asm3a