Square Enix wants to use AI neural networks and machine learning to help identify bugs and glitches and take some of the stress from QA testing.
While cruising Square Enix's job listings I found something rather interesting: The company's Advanced Technology Division, which is responsible for high-tech R&D, is hiring an AI-based QA automation researcher with the aim to "efficiently reduce the amount of manual labor on game QA."
Right now the listing is just for R&D, meaning we shouldn't expect it to translate to games any time soon. Given Square Enix's penchant for years-long development cycles and long-winded, expansive, and finely-articulated experiences, any effort to help QA will ship games faster. The sooner bugs are identified, the sooner devs can squash them and optimize the game, and the sooner it hits store shelves.
This is pretty huge for Square Enix and the industry at large. We've seen many publishers talk about using AI and neural networks, but specifics have been quite vague. The Final Fantasy developer wants to use AI to practically reduce the massive workloads that QA testers face, much of which leads to tons of hours of low-paying contractor work, hardly any recognition from the industry itself, and the arduous task of bug and glitch duplication.
Here's what the job listing states:
The main responsibility will be to research and develop new Artificial Intelligence techniques and algorithms to optimize Quality Assurance workflows. Through automation of test procedures or improvement of anomaly detection and debug operations, the purpose is to efficiently reduce the amount of manual labor on game QA. This is a new field of Artificial Intelligence, which will require both research and development tasks.
In practice, the core tasks will be to:
- Understand the actual needs of QA teams in process automation and define appropriate research objectives
- Conduct research and produce practical results that can be actually integrated into QA teams'workflows.