Is this the future of video games?
A particularly crafty modder has taken advantage of the wonders of ChatGPT to give non-player characters (NPCs) in the VR edition of the iconic 2011 video game Skyrim the ability to come up with new dialogue on the spot and have an actual conversation with the player, PC Gamer reports.
While this particular execution leaves something to be desired — the synthesized voices are far from convincing — it's a glimpse into an exciting future in which we could have extended conversations with computer-controlled characters while immersing ourselves inside virtual worlds.
The modder, who goes by Art From The Machine, took it upon themselves to greatly extend the infamously limited dialogue options of Skyrim NPCs with the use of OpenAI's large language model.
By plugging in a text-to-speech modulator called xVASynth and OpenAI's own speech-to-text model Whisper, the modder was able to converse with the in-game characters by simply speaking into their mic, as demonstrated in a YouTube video.
"It seems to be a well-crafted iron sword with a soul gem embedded in the hilt," NPC Ulfberth War-Bear told the player when the modder asked him to describe a sword. "The enchantment on it allows the wielder to capture the souls of their enemies."
Ulfberth was also able to tell when a certain shop in the fictional town of Whiterun was open and calculate when it was going to close.
Only Getting Started
The NPCs were even able to remember past events and conversations the player already had with them.
"I have a basic memory system set up where I ask ChatGPT to summarize the conversation on exit to help condense it down for future prompts," Art From The Machine explained in a post on Reddit.
And they're only scratching the surface.
"There are much more sophisticated tools out there to handle memory though such as Langchain which I am hoping to implement in the future," the modder added.
Art From The Machine still wants to perfect the mod before making it available to the public.
In many ways, it's an exciting demonstration of how AI technologies could enhance video games in the future. As the technology progresses, it's not a stretch to believe that developers will start making use of AI chatbots to allow virtual characters to branch out of their often limited dialogue trees.
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