In an interview with The Guardian, Yoshida was asked what he thinks about developers’ concerns that AI could replace human effort in disciplines like art, music and coding.
Yoshida said developers will need to learn new skills to effectively use AI, which he believes will ultimately have a positive impact on game development.
“It is a tool. Someone has to use the tool,” he said. “AI can produce very strange things, as you must have seen. You really have to be able to use the tool well. AI will change the nature of learning for game developers, but in the end development will be more efficient, and more beautiful things will be made by people.
“People might not even need to learn programming any more, if they have learned how to use these tools of the future. The creativity is more important, the direction, how you envision what you want.”
Yoshida joined the PlayStation project in 1993, a year before the release of the original console, and went on to become the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios.
He currently serves as head of SIE’s Independent Developer Initiative, where his role is to nurture external, smaller independent studios.
Yoshida gave The Guardian an example of how AI is being used by smaller teams to help them create projects that might otherwise be out of their capability.
“I was going through 15 pitches in a competition for indies in Japan just this morning, and one of them had amazing beautiful graphics made by a small team of students,” he said.
“They said that they used Midjourney, the AI art generator, to create the art. That is powerful, that a small number of young people can create an amazing looking game. In the future, AI could develop interesting animations, behaviours, even do debug for your program.”
At last month’s BAFTA Games Awards Yoshida received the Fellowship prize, which is the highest accolade that can be bestowed by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Other video game recipients have included Will Wright, Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, Nolan Bushnell, Peter Molyneux, Gabe Newell, David Braben, John Carmack, Tim Schafer, Siobhan Reddy, and Rockstar Games as a whole.
“The people who have received [this award] before are all creators! Amazing, talented, genius people! I don’t know how I fit in,” he told The Guardian. “But everybody says I deserve it, so I guess I deserve it.”