Square Enix's AI Ambition: 'Aggressive' Plans to Forge New Content Frontiers

Square Enix’s AI Ambition: ‘Aggressive’ Plans to Forge New Content Frontiers

Artificial intelligence and its potential impacts were once mostly debated in academia. But with the launch of ChatGPT last year – which can easily write, translate, or chat based on text prompts – generative AI exploded into public awareness. According to Square Enix President Takashi Kiryu, this technology has the power not just to transform creative works, but the creative process itself.

In his 2023 New Year’s letter, Kiryu outlined plans to aggressively integrate AI and other cutting-edge tech this year. The goal is to pioneer completely new forms of gaming content. The company will first focus on leveraging AI to boost productivity in development and marketing. But the longer-term vision is to build immersive experiences blending real and virtual worlds, using technologies like AI, AR, and VR.

Kiryu acknowledged the controversy around AI image and text generation, citing the recent lawsuit against ChatGPT’s creator. There are open questions around copyright and AI’s potential to replicate or appropriate existing works. Some gaming platforms have already moved to limit AI-generated games.

However, Square Enix’s plans don’t seem to include AI-generated characters or game environments – yet. Kiryu spoke broadly about using AI to assist creators and someday directly create content. This aspiration mirrors past proclamations around blockchain, NFTs, and web3 that saw little real-world impact.

Still, Square Enix is intent on aggressively adopting bleeding-edge technology to transform gaming. 2023 may prove a breakout year for AI in redefining – for better or worse – what’s possible in interactive entertainment. But it remains to be seen if experimental tech can deliver compelling new experiences, or simply spark the next industry controversy.