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Ubisoft Is Trying To Make AI NPCs That Have 'Real Conversations'

Ubisoft has unveiled NEO NPCs, a new prototype project that it says will create NPCs that can generate responses to players input.


Ubisoft is using AI hoping to create a new kind of NPC that players can have more in-depth conversations with beyond predetermined lines of dialogue. Ubisoft's NEO NPC project is aiming to use generative AI to create NPCs that use their prewritten backstory and personality to create responses on the fly, aiming to create a "real conversation."

As detailed in a blog post, NEO NPC has been in the works at Ubisoft Paris, utilizing Nvidia's Audio2Face and Inworld's Large Language Model. The goal is to have narrative designers still create characters, writing their personality and backstory, and teaching the model to react to players accordingly. The project is claimed to have barriers in place to prevent players from completely breaking a game or getting a profane reaction by using a profane input.

The NPCs created by the project won't have complete freedom to respond to players and are instead limited by their role in the story and their personal character arcs, if they have one. As for players just feeding nonsense to the NPCs, data scientist Mélanie Lopez Malet said that it would result in "garbage in, garbage out."

While the goal is ultimately to create NPCs that actively create their own dialogue on the fly, Ubisoft senior vice president of production technology Guillemette Picard has insisted that this AI initiative is still driven by people. She said that the project will only have value if it works for players, requiring that it still uses developers and their creativity.

Ubisoft has said that project NEO NPC is only a prototype at its current stage and has a long way to go before it can be used in a video game. The developer wants the tool to be flexible and scalable, with it working for both AAA games and smaller Ubisoft projects.

This isn't Ubisoft's first AI development tool, previously announcing a tool designed to help writers create dialogue for characters.

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