EnomLee t1_j30enhk wrote

That's just the bitter taste of victory, isn't it?

If 2022 had been a slow and insignificant year, this community would've remained a quiet place for tech and sci-fi geeks to speculate about the future. The worst you would've gotten would be the occasional, obnoxious troll shouting that nothing this subreddit talks about will ever happen in a million years.

But, that's not the 2022 that we got. We went from watching AI flail around, trying to create "art" to producing professional quality work in many circumstances. Artists went from laughing at the silly AI doing monkey tricks to actively boycotting and demonstrating against what they now see as a direct threat to their livelihoods. We went from cute but useless chatbots to Chat-GPT and now businesses and governments are being forced to react.

The blood is in the water. The smoke is on the horizon. People can see that something is coming and that means that more new people will come here. People who feel threatened by technological advances and people who thought they had everything figured out and got blindsided. People who feel that is their holy mission to make the people here conform to the vision of the future they formed while looking at certain other subreddits.

2022 is going to be nothing compared to the advances that will be made in the coming years, and unfortunately the various forms of backlash will intensify in kind. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."


EnomLee t1_j2b9rf8 wrote

You know, I get the feeling that I should probably say something....

It's a lot like talking about longevity and death, isn't it? I mean every time a topic about treatments for aging comes around, there's always that person. You know who I'm talking about, the one that absolutely must let everybody know that, "It's unnatural. Life has meaning because it is short!"

I always roll my eyes at that person because I know for a fact that they're one bad moment away from begging for their life. Let somebody in a ski mask, holding a gun kick down their front door. Let a drunk driver veer into their opposing lane at 50mph. Let a doctor tell them that the tumor is already at stage 4 and then we can see if they want to extol the virtues of our brief existences.

It's easy for people who are in good health to navel gaze over the hubris of wanting to live forever and yet, nobody wants to die. Not even people who commit suicide want to die, they don't want their lives to end, they want their pain to stop!

We treat pain and suffering the same way. Our cultural upbringing tells us that there is virtue in choosing to suffer, that there is meaning in it. That's it's God's plan. We do this to try and make peace with the traumas and burdens that life forces us to bear. Into every life, a little rain must fall. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. The sun will rise again tomorrow. The meek shall inherit the Earth.

Bullshit. There is no plan. There was never a goddamned plan!

Nobody wants to be bullied. Nobody wants to be rejected. Nobody wants to be betrayed, or abandoned. Nobody wants to be blind, or paralyzed, or an amputee. Nobody wants cancer. Nobody wants to bury their parents. Nobody wants to be ugly. Nobody wants to try their best and still fail. But it happens anyway. Why? Because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, subjected to other people and circumstances that were beyond your control. We try so hard to force these misfortunes to make sense, but that's just a coping mechanism. Life sucks. Life is chaos.

So, for me, focusing on whatever downsides there could be in people overusing these speculative technologies feels a touch myopic. I'm less interested in what happens if people get bored* from overusing FDVR or AI companions than I am in learning what they were running from.

*They wouldn't. I think it's a safe bet to say that by the time these things become real, if ever, that tuning their performance to give the user the perfect balance of highs and lulls to keep them engaged would be trivial.


EnomLee OP t1_j21io8t wrote

"Soon, Hollywood could be in direct competition with generative AI tools, which, unlike self-driving cars or other long-promised technologies that never quite arrive, are already here and getting better fast. Meta and Google have announced software that converts text prompts into short videos; another tool, Phenaki, can do whole scenes. None of these video generators has been released to the public yet, but the company D-ID offers an AI app that can make people in still photos blink and read from a script, and some have been using it to animate characters created by Midjourney. “In the next few years,” says Matthew Kershaw, D-ID’s VP of marketing and growth, “we could easily see a major movie made almost entirely using AI.” Someday, instead of browsing our Rokus for something to watch, we might green-light our own entertainment by pitching loglines to algorithms that can make feature-length films with sophisticated plots, blockbuster effects, and A-list human actors from any era."


EnomLee t1_j1wtl8p wrote

Five to ten years gets you Ready Player One. VR headsets will be smaller, lighter, less annoying to put on and take off, and should have graphics equivalent to 8th generation consoles, assuming they're standalone devices. Maybe by then, games on weaker hardware will use AI solutions for perfecting visual realism, if that's what they're trying to achieve.

The increasing use of Generative AI in game development will be revolutionary in how games are designed by developers and customized by the player to their tastes, but even with that added, VR won't be an equivalent experience to something like the Matrix or Sword Art Online. You'd need a consumer ready, wireless brain computer interface and there's little in the news that suggests that one is imminent.

For reference:

DARPA is funding multiple research teams in search of non or minimally invasion BCI systems.
Ray Kurzweil is counting on advanced nanotechnology debuting in the 2020s, making full dive possible in the 2030s. Full immersion VR becomes common in Kurzweil's 2040s.
Gabe Newell thinks that "We're way closer to the Matrix than people realize" and that "it's an extinction-level event for every entertainment for that's not thinking about this."
Alan Thompson predicts that by 2026, using Synchron brain implants means that, "Dreaming up a movie concept with your favorite celebrities may allow you to experience that immersive 'film' instantly, created for you and your thoughts, and available for you and your family to experience in a resolution that is way beyond IMAX!"


EnomLee t1_j11d5bz wrote

The Near Future (2022-2035)

- If the post 7th generation cadence of releases continues, the 10th generation of video game consoles will emerge around 2027-2029, defying multiple past predictions that console gaming would be undone by smartphones and streaming. These machines should be expected to have at least 50 teraflops of GPU performance, or at least the Microsoft and Sony machines should. Nintendo dances to its own tune and is predictably unpredictable.

For reference, Tim Sweeney believes that 40 teraflops is enough to create photorealistic graphics. Ray Kurzweil believes that "Virtual Reality" graphics will be "indistinguishable from real reality" by the end of the 2020s.

The key trends of the 10th generation will be ray tracing, generative AI and the streamlined asset creation provided by the Unreal Engine 5 and competing game engines.

- Ray tracing is already being employed in today's games, but the hardware limitations of 9th generation hardware prevent the effect from being used as a complete lighting solution. It will be common for 10th generation titles to use ray traced shadows, global illumination, ambient occlusion and reflections all at once, bringing a new level of realism to titles while making game development much more simple for level designers. No longer will level artists have to spend time using baked lighting. Every scene will be capable of being rendered under any time of day or weather condition without the extra work to make the scene look correct.

- New graphics engines like the Unreal Engine 5 also promise to further streamline game development through features like Nanite and Lumen. Nanite allows game artists to save time by not having to design different versions of an asset for different levels of detail. Instead, the artist will design one high quality asset and the engine itself will dynamically simplify the asset the further away it gets from the player camera. Graphics pop-in will become a thing of the past because of this solution.

Lumen will allow games to get most of the visual benefits of ray tracing, while not being as hardware intensive as actual hardware-based ray tracing. It may eventually become a moot point as consoles and PCs become capable of opting for the real thing, but it and similar solutions will be useful for the next decade of game development.

- Generative AI needs no introduction for most of you but for those just tuning in: it's the big one. Generative AI will be one of the biggest, if not THE biggest technology story of the decade, potentially bringing as much disruption to our lives as the smartphone, streaming media or the internet itself, if not more so. The same generative AIs that are now disrupting the world of art are coming for everything else. 2D art, 3D art, video, music, writing, voice work. Any entertainment that you can consume on a digital device will be affected, and no industry will feel this as much as the gaming industry. That is because making a video game is a multidisciplinary job. You need coders, you need level designers, you need writers, artists, musicians, actors. None of the positions that I just named are safe from generative AI.

You don't have to believe me, it's already happening. It won't feel very disruptive for the rest of the 9th generation, as game studios will likely be cautious with their implementations, not wanting to attract any of the blowback that's hitting the companies embracing AI art. You'll have some independent developers playing with different AIs to solve some problems, some major studios using it at the periphery. It's usually with new gaming generations when developers decide to take bigger risks on projects, and the 10th generation is when I expect this trend to explode.

The best video games of 2030 will be made collaboratively between humans and generative AIs. Humans will mostly be working on the fun things, while the drudgery gets passed on to the AIs. The player character and plot-important NPCs will be designed by people, while the unimportant pedestrians will be given to AI. The main theme and musical score for key scenes will be composed by people, the ambient filler music will be given to AI. People will voice the story characters and AI will voice the random NPC blurbs. Key locations will be hand designed by artists and level designers, unimportant forests and random city blocks will be given to AI, and so on.

Because of all this, video games will become bigger, more detailed and more realistic. At the same time they will become easier to make than they ever were before. Small, independent developers who had to settle for sticking with retro 2D or highly stylized aesthetics will now be able to choose to make their own massive, 3D open worlds. Large, established studios that are already at the AAA level can choose to put out the same quality of work with less human employees, or keep them and do even more with the added abilities for AI. I think (hope?) that ongoing competition in the market will drive employee headcounts to stay steady. The company that fires employees would be at a disadvantage versus the one that keeps them, and the fired employees might just become the old company's future competition. Why not? AI gives them the tools to do so.

- VR Headsets are here to stay and will continue to move forward, iterating towards smaller, cheaper and more powerful headsets. We will go from having to slide these big, awkward bricks over our faces to using a device that is no more obtrusive than a pair of bulky sunglasses. It will still be too early for VR headsets to displace consoles, as the couch and game pad experience will remain attractive to people who don't want to physically exert themselves in VR. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft introduce its own gaming focused, Xbox branded VR headset to the market in his time frame. Apple likewise.


EnomLee t1_j0kfnki wrote

"We will have to wait to see exactly what lasting impact these tools will have on creative industries, and on the entire field of AI. Generative AI has become one more tool for expression. Altman says he now uses generated images in personal messages the way he used to use emoji. “Some of my friends don’t even bother to generate the image—they type the prompt,” he says.

But text-to-image models may be just the start. Generative AI could eventually be used to produce designs for everything from new buildings to new drugs—think text-to-X. 

People are going to realize that technique or craft is no longer the barrier—it’s now just their ability to imagine,” says Nelson.

Computers are already used in several industries to generate vast numbers of possible designs that are then sifted for ones that might work. Text-to-X models would allow a human designer to fine-tune that generative process from the start, using words to guide computers through an infinite number of options toward results that are not just possible but desirable.

Computers can conjure spaces filled with infinite possibility. Text-to-X will let us explore those spaces using words. 

I think that’s the legacy,” says Altman. “Images, video, audio—eventually, everything will be generated. I think it is just going to seep everywhere.


EnomLee t1_ixa4agz wrote

A scale that would be too massive for people to perceive.

When a game world consists of ten NPC designs, ten trees and ten buildings copied over and over again, people notice that and become bored by the repetition. The world feels fake because we know that reality is much more diverse than what the game is presenting.

But if you could use an equivalent to https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/ to make every NPC and a similar tool for other art assets, that problem would be solved.

In the near future human artists will have to still take the lead as AIs are still too prone to making mistakes, but with every improvement, the AIs would move closer to the point where they wouldn't need somebody to clean up their errors.

We will go from game developers experimenting with AI, to using AI to do the boring work that isn't fun, but necessary. Nobody wants to become a 3d artist to design bars of soap or lamp posts or mailboxes, but if a game calls for a fully explorable house, that is what they must do. AI will take over these tasks so the people can focus on the fun models: the main characters, the guns and the monsters.

From there, AIs would continue to improve, perfecting every task that is presented to them. Eventually they would become equivalent to an entire movie studio, or game development studio unto themselves. There would still be value in creative work made by well known creators, studios or brands, but a growing number of people would be able to choose to just tell the AI what they want, and let the AI create it for them.


EnomLee t1_ix6zq5i wrote

This article is music to my ears. It is increasingly hard to ever overstate the impact that creative AI models will have on video games and all entertainment. Models like AI Dungeon and Stable Diffusion will look like Pong compared to what these models will be capable of in another decade or two.

Today procedural systems are limited and unappealing because it usually just means taking a finite set of art assets and ideas and just shuffling them around, or copying and pasting them, but a generative AI won't be limited to what a few humans can make. They will be able to leverage all of the data and imagery they've been trained on to make entirely new worlds with.

Imagine your favorite game, and realize that in the future it will be made to have infinite content because of generative AI. RPGs will always have new lands to explore and quests to undertake. Open worlds will always have new cities to play in, with fully generated interiors. Racing games will always have new tracks and new car designs with new decals and body modifications. City builders will always have new, unique buildings instead of a handful of designs being repeated.

That's not all. in the same way that Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Spotify, Steam etc. all tailor content recommendations to you based on your past history, these creative AIs will learn what you like from your histories and direct suggestions and make content targeted directly at you. Your ideas, your opinions, your values.

Maybe people will shift from buying individual games, movies, music, books etc. or separate media services towards subscribing to one of a few competing all-in-one generative AIs. You buy the Nintendo, or the Microsoft, or the Sony, Disney, WB etc. AI and you are given access to all of their characters and IPs for the virtual worlds you want to create.

The only thing that would be left to do is to develop a fully immersive, non-invasive brain computer interface.


EnomLee t1_it3r3lk wrote

This is the best answer. Playing in established fictional worlds just means you’ll be paying the people who own them forever.

I’m experienced enough to know what I want. Give me tools that are good enough, like a more powerful Cities Skylines and I’ll just make my own.

That’s the dream. A combination of direct prompts, building tools and friendly suggestions from an AI to create something with just the right balance of sci-fi and fantasy to satisfy my tastes. Give me that I won’t give a flip about what a Disney or a Nintendo would have to offer.