Leaked presentation from AI snake-oil salesmen to AAA game company promises horrific, dystopian manipulation of players to drain their wallets

Techpowerup has published a redacted presentation from an unnamed AI company to an unnamed big-budget multiplayer video-game publisher, setting out a suite of surveillance capitalism tools combined with machine-learning to manipulate players to make them as addicted as possible and drain them of as much money as possible.

The slide deck sets out a suite of persuasion techniques to lure new players to the game by purchasing deep dossiers on their situation, views and social activities, then advertising in highly targeted ways using predictions made by an AI model trained on giant data-sets bought from data-brokers. It details highly invasive techniques involving cellphone location tracking, covert mapping of homes using wifi signal strength, and always-on microphones that analyze incidental noise to deliver realtime intelligence about your activities and pain-points, from menstruation to crying babies to depression.

The deck then explains how the AI-backed game can manipulate the players it signs up by tricking them into playing for longer than they expected by tailoring the game play on a minute-to-minute basis to make it hard to put down and easy to restart (for example, they claim that they've used a phone's accelerometer to determine when a player is looking at their phone in bed, then offered them free powerups that lured them to sit up, eschew sleep, and start playing again).

This is a terrifying vision — and it's also a sales-presentation. I've seen a lot of AI pitchdecks that promise stuff like this and they — like every other sales presentation — are promising more than they can deliver. But on the other hand, the sales-engineer who wrote this pitch thinks that games publishers will be receptive to it, and also thinks that they can deliver some of these things, and that manipulating their fellow humans this way is OK. It is a literally sociopathic vision, in which people are viewed as things to be used rather than people with the agency, feelings and dignity that you yourself posses.

Leaked AI-powered Game Revenue Model Paper Foretells a Dystopian Nightmare [btarunr/Techpowerup]