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Silent Hill Ascension boss insists that it’s not written by an AI

Silent Hill Ascension, the series based on Konami’s horror game, is not written by AI, the co-creator says, ahead of Silent Hill 2 Remake.

Silent Hill Ascension AI: A character from Konami and Genvid horror game series Silent Hill Ascension

Silent Hill Ascension, the interactive series based on Konami’s legendary horror games, is not written by an AI, co-creator Jacob Navok says. Some viewers of the show claim that the dialogue in SH Ascension sounds like it is AI generated, and point to previous comments from Navok, as well as other members of Genvid, the company behind Silent Hill Ascension, as evidence that the show is written using artificial intelligence. Navok reaffirms that this is not the case, saying that such claims are a “veiled insult” to the show’s actual writers. It comes as Bloober Team shares an update on Silent Hill 2 Remake, and we await Silent Hill Townfall and Silent Hill F.

Silent Hill Ascension is an interactive series whereby viewers can use virtual currency to vote on and influence the direction of the narrative. As part of a huge revival of the Konami horror game series, which includes the remake of Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill Townfall, and Silent Hill F, some Ascension viewers claim that the show has been written using AI.

“Silent Hill Ascension is absolutely written by AI and I cannot be convinced otherwise,” Twitter/X user ‘Voidburger,’ also known as ‘Jess,’ says, sharing a clip from Ascension wherein a character appears, explains they are out in the forest searching for berries, and then leaves. Another Twitter/X user, ‘Bobvids,’ replies, saying “Jess is 1000% correct and here’s proof.”

Silent Hill Ascension AI: A post relating to horror game series Silent Hill Ascension

Bobvids then links to a June 2023 blog post from futurist Ross Dawson, wherein Dawson says they have recently attended the Simulations Summit at Founders Inc., and heard a lecture from Stephan Vladimir Bugaj, chief creative officer at Silent Hill Ascension creator Genvid. “Stephan Vladimir Bugaj of Genvid talked about massively interactive live events in which human and autonomous AI characters interact to create simulated narratives,” Dawson writes.

Silent Hill Ascension AI: A post from LinkedIn referencing one of the creators of horror game series Silent Hill Ascension

The Twitter/X users also share comments from Jacob Navok, Genvid’s founder. On Wednesday July 19, 2023, Navok responds to another Twitter/X user regarding Genvid’s upcoming projects, one of which, at the time, may have been Silent Hill Ascension. “This led to a lot of changes to our upcoming projects,” Navok says, “all of which feature AI characters.”

However, in the same reply, Navok explains that after running experiments using AI, it is now working on “much heavier emphasis on story and directed action [and] human cinematography/animation for scene types over AI-driven.”

Similarly, a month earlier, on Monday June 19, 2023, Navok explains in greater detail how Genvid has removed some AI elements, and which elements remain. “Seeing an AI metahuman in Silent Hill trying to use an animation library to run from a monster in a pathed space was more comical than it was scary,” Navok says. “We had a seed system that created a massive number of paths forward, and then frequently the AI would get stuck.”

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“We need to ship this year, so we had to remove those AI-driven escape sequences and mocap the runs instead. The characters are still AI actors because no player is controlling them, but we determine the movements, fix the eye look, lipsync, and fingers.”

Now, possibly in response to recent claims, Navok shares a new response regarding the alleged use of AI in Silent Hill Ascension, reiterating that the series was written by “real people,” and that to suggest otherwise is a “veiled insult.”

“Every word in Ascension was written by real people, many of whom have long-running careers in writing including TellTale titles, Pixar titles, God of War Ragnarok, Resident Evil Village, and more,” Navok says. “Across our 100,000 plus words, zero are authored by LLMs [large language models] or AI, and all are from dedicated work of a talented team.

“We ran tests several years ago to see whether AI could improve animation or cinematic production pipelines. We also tried to have programmatically-directed scenes like what Left 4 Dead’s AI director was doing nearly two decades ago, but this led to a lot of wonky shots where cameras sat too long, or on wrong objects, or cut incorrectly. Basically, they don’t have a proper sense of timing for TV.

“Most of the test work was done in 2021. None of that work ended up being used on this or other projects. We have a team of animators working on the project, a team of writers who wrote the scripts, and narrative designers who made the choices. Suggesting otherwise is just a veiled insult to talented humans who have worked hard to create something they are proud of.

“Returning to the AI topic, our earlier work in the field made me a skeptic on the use of AI for a lot of creative endeavors. I get asked a lot about AI in games, and my response has been that I think AI is a long way away from doing creative work.”

Silent Hill Ascension AI: A tweet from the co-creator of horror game series Silent Hill Ascension

Elsewhere in Silent Hill news, Bloober Team confirms that Silent Hill 2 Remake is still in production, but urges fans to be patient, and await further news from Konami itself. You can find out everything there is to know about the Silent Hill 2 release date.

If you’re looking forward to all the new Silent Hill projects, in the meantime, you might want to try some of the other best single-player games, or maybe the best survival games available on PC.

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