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Ali Jones

No Man's Sky dev team featured in story on AI stealing jobs from coders, studio lead Sean Murray can only ask "wtf"

No Man's Sky.

No Man's Sky lead Sean Murray has found himself as the unwitting face of the risk coders face from the rise of AI.

A recent article from Forbes asked whether, after a rise in cases of Generative AI replacing jobs in creative industries such as art and voice acting, programmers might be at risk next. Citing comments by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and a GitHub survey that found that 92% of US-based developers are using some form of artificial intelligence in their coding already, the article suggests that while low-level coding might be taken over by AI, human developers will still be required to manage anything more complex.

AI is obviously an important talking point within the industry at the moment, but what made this article particularly notable for one group of developers is their own inadvertent inclusion in it. Forbes' main image is of "developers photographed at their studio in Guildford, [Surrey, UK], on December 12, 2013."

Those developers include Sean Murray, and that studio is Hello Games, which, around 18 months after the photo was taken by our sister publication, Edge Magazine, would go on to release No Man's Sky. The redemption arc of the spacefaring game has been extremely well documented, but the long journey that Hello Games has been on in the decade since the photo was taken didn't stop studio head Sean Murray from recognizing himself and his colleagues.

Despite No Man's Sky's procedural generation, I don't think either it or Hello Games' next title, Light No Fire, relies on Generative AI, so I can understand Murray's confusion at suddenly finding himself the face of an article about AI programming. A succinct "wtf" appears to sum up his confusion, but it seems clear that No Man's Sky isn't about to pave the way for a new wave of AI programmers.

7 years into its legendary comeback, No Man's Sky claws back another 1% on its Steam review score: "I never thought it possible, but guys we might hit 'Very Positive' one day."

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