15 Feb 2024 | Mike Boland
AWE Talks: Making AI Characters Believable
AWE EU 2023

Welcome back to AWE Talks, our series that revisits the most engaging content from AWE’s catalog of conference sessions. Now that AWE EU 2023 has concluded, we have a fresh batch of sessions to dive into. 

This week, we examine the art of creating natural AI characters for immersive experiences. We're getting closer but there are still missing pieces and tendencies towards the uncanny valley, says Virtual Beings' Wendelin Reich.

See the summarized takeaways below, along with the full session video. Stay tuned for more video highlights each week and check out the full library on awe.live and AWE’s YouTube Channel.

Wendelin Reich,
Virtual Beings 

Key Takeaways
– With the rise of AI comes an inflection in AI-driven game characters.
   – This is nothing new of course, given the prevalence of NPCs today.
   – In fact, more than half of games produced today utilize AI characters.
– But the opportunity is to elevate this common practice through gen-AI.
   – The biggest opportunity is to make NPCs more natural and believable. 
   – This includes enabling more 'holistic interaction' says Reich. 
– In other words, sometimes there's a lack of audio and visual cohesion.
   – The conversational AI works great but the animation doesn't sync. 
   – The former is somewhat intelligent and the latter is an animation loop. 
   – Given this shortcoming, Riech calls these characters "all talk, no action."
– Altogether, illusion and immersion are broken by unnatural interactions.
– The answer to this challenge may lie in behavioral AI, says Reich. 
   – This involves AI that causes characters to feel natural and believable. 
   – Its 3 pillars are virtual cognition, procedural animation & behavioral synthesis.
– Executing is much more complicated, however, broken down below by Reich.

  Want more XR insights and multimedia? ARtillery Intelligence offers an indexed and searchable library of XR intelligence known as ARtillery Pro. See more here.  

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