Ubisoft Exploring Generative AI To Power NPCs In Future Games

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Ubisoft is working with Nvidia and Inworld AI to explore the use of generative AI to power non-playable characters (NPCs) in future games from the publisher.

Called “NEO NPCs”, these new characters in games are being developed and designed to interact with players in real time within games. On top of that, the NEO NPCs would be able to interact with other characters and the environments around them in different ways without any need for player input.

These NEO NPCs are being developed at Ubisoft Paris using Nvidia’s Audio2Face technology as well as Inworld AI’s Character Engine and LLM technology.

“With NEO NPCs, Ubisoft’s narrative and animation designers blended the reliability of scripted game elements with the dynamism of spontaneous player interactions, nudging the future of game development towards new horizons,” Nvidia says.

As far as how this will work in games in the future, Ubisoft’s SVP of Production Technology, Guillemette Picard, says generative AI will allow players to have in-game experiences that haven’t even been imagined yet.

“By partnering with NVIDIA on our NEO NPCs prototype: NVIDIA’s Audio2Face solution helped us to create deeper immersion through real-time facial animations for truly improvisational NPC conversations,” she said.

“AI is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance players’ experiences by making games more dynamic, immersive and unique,” John Spitzer, vice president of developer and performance technologies at NVIDIA, said. “We are thrilled to partner with Ubisoft to leverage NVIDIA ACE in the advancement of digital characters.”

At GDC 2024, Ubisoft showed three demo scenarios to those in attendance. Each scenario was focused on different areas of NPC behavior as well as “environmental and contextual awareness”.

What do you think of Ubisoft, and other studios, using generative AI for NPCs within their games? For more Insider Gaming, see what former PlayStation executive Connie Booth’s next move is in the gaming industry.