No game dies if it has a dedicated community behind it. Thanks to mods, games that have been around for years, if not decades, are still making waves, having new content and proving more refreshing than many games that have just come out. In fact, it is not uncommon for many of the most radical innovations to come from the community. Because long before any AAA game studio has experimented with AI to write dialogue for their NPCs, someone has done exactly that with a mod for Skyrim.
The creator of this mod, Art From The Machine, has released a video of almost seven minutes showing the possibilities of using ChatGPT to make the NPCs of the game respond to our comments and our actions with stories created in a completely improvised way. Making use of xVASynth, a text-to-speech program, and Whisper, a speech-to-text program, he has also managed to make all of this possible by voice, taking the verisimilitude of the whole thing a step further. Allowing us to talk about almost anything with the characters, who will remember our previous conversations, we will know at all times that we will always receive an appropriate response beyond the limits of the script. Something that would make getting into Skyrim easier than ever.
That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some obvious problems to overcome. Unless some limits are imposed, ChatGPT can end up overstepping the boundaries of what the characters can say, going out of character or even talking about things that have nothing to do with their world. Also, in the video there is a noticeable delay between speaking to them and the response they give, something that Art From The Machine itself has confirmed that it hopes to improve in the future.
However, we have to keep in mind that this is only a video. The demo is neither dated nor confirmed, nor can it be tested in any way. Until we see it in operation, we have to take all this with a grain of salt. Because, while it is fascinating on paper, one wonders whether it will really add anything to hear what an AI has to say without adding any more context than that, the fact that certain dialogues are written by the AI. Because at the end of the day, the interesting thing about fiction is that, like the mods, there are human beings behind it who are passionate about something they love, something that no AI, no matter how advanced, will ever be capable of.
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