Doom Creator: AI Lacks Originality Despite Its Capabilities

In the evolving landscape of video game development, artificial intelligence has positioned itself as an indispensable tool, reshaping the terrain with its aptitude for generating images and tunes based upon specific prompts. John Romero, a luminary in the domain and a pivotal figure in the creation of the iconic game Doom through his role as co-founder of ID Software, however, casts a shadow of skepticism over the technology’s capacity to engender truly novel creations. In a thoughtful examination with Ars Technica, Romero elucidates his reservations about generative AI’s tangible impact on the gaming sector.

Romero articulates a vision for the industry that champions unparalleled innovation, a tenet he perceives as somewhat at odds with the current modus operandi of generative artificial intelligence. Given its foundational reliance on pre-existing data repositories, Romero argues that this technology falls short of the gaming industry’s aspiration to invent “something that’s not already there.”

Despite the burgeoning utilization of AI for an array of tasks—ranging from enhancing the complexity of non-player characters to managing in-game social interactions and even resurrecting the voices of departed actors—its application in creative processes invites a more divided stance. Survey data indicating a divided reception among game developers, with a substantial cohort leveraging AI while simultaneously expressing apprehensions about the technology, underscores this ambivalence.

Romero further asserts that while strides have been made in AI technology, it has yet to reach a juncture where it can emulate the nuanced design and collaborative spirit characteristic of human creators. He emphasizes the necessity of leaning into human creativity and collaboration to achieve groundbreaking results, suggesting a perceived limitation in repurposing generative AI for these ends.

Moreover, Romero raises ethical considerations surrounding the operation and training of AI models, advocating for a conscientious approach that includes fair compensation for the creators behind the data fueling these technologies.

Doom, since its 1993 release, has not only cemented its status as a seminal video game but also intriguingly serves as a case study for the expansive potential applications of blockchain technology. The game’s adaptability has been demonstrated through various experiments, including cryptocurrency platforms such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin, and even OpenAI’s flagship ChatGPT, attesting to the software’s enduring relevance and versatility.

In an enterprising move to showcase Doom’s adaptable nature, Swedish conglomerate Husqvarna collaborated with ID Software to unveil a lawn mower-themed rendition of the game, illustrating the game’s unique intersection with both gaming heritage and technological innovation.

[Article concludes with an editorial note by Ryan Ozawa.]