NVIDIA Enables Gamers to Have Direct Conversations with Game Characters
|The Kairos demo showcasing Nvidia ACE (Nvidia) technology.|
In a groundbreaking announcement, NVIDIA has unveiled its Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) technology that allows gamers to engage in conversations with non-player characters (NPCs) within games. This revolutionary technology was introduced by NVIDIA's CEO, Jensen Huang, during the Computex 2023 electronics exhibition held in Taipei, Taiwan. In a captivating video demo called "Kairos," users were able to witness a three-dimensional (3D) rendering of a cyberpunk-themed ramen restaurant.
Within this virtual environment, players were introduced to a character named Kai. By pressing the T key to initiate a conversation, users could verbally communicate using their own voice through a headset microphone. This enabled players to engage in dialogue with in-game characters, much like interacting with other players in multiplayer games. However, it's important to note that Kai is an NPC and not an actual person. After listening to the user's dialogue, Kai would dynamically respond, creating an immersive and realistic interaction. In other words, the NPC's responses were not predetermined scripts but instead based on the flow and context of the conversation initiated by the user. For instance, when a user asked, "Hi Kai, how are you?" Kai would reply, "Unfortunately, not too good."
Subsequently, when inquiring, "Why is that?" Kai would explain that the restaurant had been affected by recent criminal activities in the surrounding area.
|The Kairos demo showcasing Nvidia's ACE (Nvidia) technology.|
The user then offered their assistance to Kai. Once the conversation concluded, the user would receive a side quest to safeguard the restaurant from the impending danger. This dialog mechanism offers a unique approach compared to the traditional role-playing game (RPG) systems. In typical RPGs like "Cyberpunk 2077" or "Fallout: New Vegas," players are presented with a dialogue tree, allowing them to choose a response from a set of predefined options when interacting with NPCs. With NVIDIA's cutting-edge technology, users are not limited to a predetermined set of choices when conversing with NPCs. According to Jason Paul, the Vice President of GeForce Platform at NVIDIA, this technology also functions when a character interacts with multiple NPCs simultaneously. Furthermore, ACE theoretically has the potential to enable NPCs to engage in conversations with each other, although this aspect has not yet been tested. The video demo mentioned earlier was the result of a collaboration between NVIDIA and Convai, aimed at showcasing the capabilities of ACE technology.
Convai is a company that offers generative AI conversation technology, which can be deployed via cloud and NVIDIA hardware. This technology includes several tools such as Nvidia NeMo, Nvidia Riva, and Nvidia Omniverse Audio2Face. Nvidia NeMo is software that builds and customizes a large language model (LLM) AI model that can be tailored to fit the story and background of a character, for instance, within a game. This technology also employs filters to prevent AI from engaging in inappropriate topics. Additionally, Nvidia Riva provides automatic speech recognition and speech-to-text capabilities. Lastly, Nvidia Omniverse Audio2Face utilizes audio sources to create expressive facial animations for game characters. These technologies were demonstrated in the "Kairos" demo, created using the game development software Unreal Engine 5, as reported by KompasTekno via Engadget on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. The ramen restaurant scene was rendered using RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI) for ray-tracing purposes and Nvidia DLSS 3 to ensure optimal performance. While NVIDIA has not announced the specific games that will incorporate ACE technology, it is known that "Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl" and "Fort Solis" will leverage the Omniverse Audio2Face tools.
In conclusion, NVIDIA's Avatar Cloud Engine technology revolutionizes the gaming experience by enabling gamers to engage in real-time conversations with virtual characters. This breakthrough innovation paves the way for more immersive and interactive gameplay, blurring the line between human players and AI-controlled NPCs. As the gaming industry continues to push boundaries, the future holds exciting possibilities for enhanced storytelling and player engagement in virtual worlds.