NEW MOMBASA — There’s been a ton of hubbub in the news lately about generative AI with images from by DALL·E and Microsoft Bing and text from the ChatGBT language model. While many assumed this technology was new, it appears the enemy AI of the Xbox game Halo 2 has been capable of creative writing since its release in 2004.
“With Halo 2, we pioneered some new AI technologies that are still being used in games today,” stated Jaime Griesemer, design lead for Halo 2. “We designed our enemy AI to follow a set of behavior trees which determine their aggression and make real-time choices while engaging with the player. When you take out a squad’s Elite, the Grunts will frantically flee in all directions. What we hadn’t realized at the time is that if you let a Grunt get far enough away from battle, he’ll eventually quit the military and enroll himself at Full Sail University.”
The rare behavior was first discovered by Halo 2 speedrunner Booboo420 and shared in a video to his YouTube channel.
“While routing new opportunities for sequence breaking in Outskirts, I started following a frightened Grunt as far as he would go,” said Booboo420. “After many hours, he swapped his needler for a MacBook Air and began typing away. Once I posted the video, the [Halo 2 speedrunning] community has been able to replicate the behavior with ease. It even appears the game difficulty affects the complexity of the AI’s writing. On Legendary, he generated a psychological crime thriller with anticapitalistic themes and homages to 1970s cinema. On Easy, he just wrote a verbatim copy of Grandma’s Boy.”
With the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike ending in September, and tons of new stipulations regarding the use of AI in Hollywood, it is unlikely the Halo 2 Grunt will be able to sell his spec script to a studio without massive ramifications.
“We worked hard for a contract which ensures AI can’t be used to write or rewrite any scripts or treatments,” tweeted Adam Conover who serves on the WGA West Board of Directors. “I’m a gamer myself. I can assure you Grunt heads are not filled with good ideas. They’re filled with confetti, waiting to burst by my bullets and scatter across the room.”
At press time, the Grunt AI managed to order Dominos pizza to a speedrunner’s house.