Half a Billion Reasons To Prepare for AI-Powered NPCs

By: James Flippin · August 04, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Leveling Up

Inworld AI, a groundbreaking firm in the gaming industry, successfully locked in over $50 million in funding at a $500 million valuation. The software company leverages generative AI to empower developers to craft intelligent game characters.

This fresh injection of funds underscores the innovation at the core of Inworld AI’s unique vision for video game development. Its technology is designed to create smart non-playable characters, or NPCs, who can autonomously perform, self-learn, and even have “memories.”

The tech has already found its way into the likes of Bethesda’s (MSFT) Skyrim and Rockstar Games’ (TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V — two of the best-reviewed and best-selling games of all time.

The Science

Forget the uncanny valley. By replicating “the full range of human communication,” Inworld hopes to make games as believable and meaningful as real life.

To do so, the company uses several machine learning models in unison. Together, these allow developers to couple Inworld’s dialogues and voice-generation tools with animation systems in popular game engines, creating vivid 3D worlds teetering on the edge of reality.

With Inworld’s technology, creators can construct personalities for NPCs just by describing them in plain language. Additionally, they can associate specific emotions with goals and triggers custom-defined by the user, and feed “personal knowledge” into these characters, controlling what they should or shouldn’t know.

Going Inworld

We may be a ways away from the Matrix. Nevertheless, Inworld is clearly pushing the boundaries of the immersive possibilities within the digital realm. The company is enabling developers to create — and gamers to experience — digitally-crafted characters that feel more authentic and responsive than ever.

“The next generation of games will be judged by how immersive the experiences feel,” Inworld CEO and co-founder Ilya Gelfenbeyn asserts. Given the response by gamers, critics, and investors alike, that judgment has been handed down in Inworld’s favor.

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