Skyrim ChatGPT mod shows the future of gaming will be powered by AI

A modder has taken OpenAI's language model, fed it the Skyrim NPC dialogue, and now iconic Skyrim NPCs are able to have creative conversations.

2 minutes & 15 seconds read time

Classic RPG titles such as Skyrim or The Witcher: Wild Hunt are known for being some of the greatest worlds to get lost in, with a large variety of characters to interact and seemingly never-ending adventures to take undertake.

However, gamers reach the end of these games, and with the aforementioned games in particular, they even choose to replay them in a different way for an alternative experience. Unfortunately, there are limitations to these alternative experiences, and one of those is the dialogue players can have with NPCs. Skyrim is one of the most successful games ever made and is known for its iconic dialogue, but what if NPCs were able to have an infinite amount of dialogue and players were able to ask them whatever they wanted?

A very early example of that has been created by modder Art From The Machine, who has taken the underlying language model powering OpenAI's ChatGPT, and combined it with xVASynth for text-to-speech capabilities and Whisper for speech-to-text capabilities. So, what has Art From The Machine achieved? Players are able to speak into their microphones and talk directly to NPCs, who will be able to understand what the player is saying. Whisper converts the player's speech to text which is then fed into ChatGPT's language model that generates a response. That text response is then played through xVASynth, and the NPCs are able to respond appropriately.

So, what are the benefits? For example, Ulfberth War-Bear, the shop owner of Warmaiden's in Whiterun, is able to tell the player how long the shop will be open based on current in-game time. Additionally, Ulfberth is able to identify a sword that the player picked up, informing the player that the sword features a soul gem embedded in its hilt and that this enchantment enables the player to capture the souls of their enemies.

Admittedly, Ulfberth's pronunciation of his responses sounds janky, but imagine a future version of the technology that has been demonstrated. The future of NPCs within RPG titles that are designed to immerse players within the world will include dialogue generated in real-time prompted by the player simply asking a question to an NPC, "What time does this shop close?". Notably, these AI-enabled NPCs would be able to remember past in-game events and dialogue with players.

Imagine the following: Replaying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Skyrim, but the game features an AI director that is plugged into every NPC within the game. As you traverse through the game, you can interact with every NPC either through the traditional dialogue options or through your microphone by verbally asking/responding to questions. Since the AI director is plugged into every NPC, all interactions are recorded and fed back into the AI to provide the player with a more immersive experience within the world and the interactions they have within it.

Now imagine your character is entering a bank, and you're goal is to rob the place for as much money as you can carry. Players would be able to hold up the employees over their microphone, and the NPCs would be able to audibly respond in real-time to player demands. This would be next-generation immersion, and I'm looking at you, Rockstar, and your highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto 6.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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