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NVIDIA ACE, reinventing NPCs with artificial intelligence

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA , has been responsible for the keynote that has kicked off Computex 2023 , one of the most important technology fairs of the year and which began today in Taipei, Taiwan, and which It will last until June 2. The fact that it was the technology chosen for said inauguration is already quite significant and, as it could not be less, the company has ensured that said presentation lived up to expectations.

Most of the ads have been aimed, yes, at the professional sector , unlike what we are used to seeing in other types of events more aimed at the final consumer, as is often the case, for example, at CES. Thus, we have learned of very interesting developments and that, without a doubt, will have an impact on our day, although they will do so through improvements in the performance of data centers, infrastructures, etc., of the products and services that we already use. daily, as well as those that are yet to come.

However, among the announcements there is one that will have a more direct impact on end users , and especially among the vast majority of PC users who spend at least part of their time in front of it to play. A field in which NVIDIA has a lot to say, in which it has made fundamental contributions related to artificial intelligence. It is known that this technological field, that of AI, is a priority for NVIDIA, something of which we had a new confirmation last week , and that today is confirmed again with the announcement of NVIDIA CES.

Behind the acronym ACE is the Avatar Cloud Engine technology , which is based on a generative artificial intelligence model that will serve to substantially improve interactions with the NPCs (Non Playable Characters) of the titles that integrate this technology, by making them able to maintain more natural dialogues . In the video shown above this paragraph, you can see the demo shown at Computex 2023, in which Kai, a playable character, enters a futuristic room where he has a conversation with an NPC (Jin). Jin’s responses to Kai’s dialogues are created, in real time, by the AI algorithm.

It is true that, when analyzed with a magnifying glass, Jin’s answers can seem somewhat rigid, excessively formal (especially if we take into account that many games, nowadays, compete to see which one uses the most aggressive language), but we can understand that this it will adjust over time, so what is really interesting is to think about the universe of possibilities that open up with NVIDIA ACE, because just like in the demo we see how the NPC responds to Kai’s phrases, nothing prevents this same technology from being can use to respond to everything we want to say ourselves .

Thus, if this AI model has a wide enough context window, it can serve to end some very annoying elements of the current NPC behavior , such as the constant repetition of the same dialogues, their lack of context response, etc. Thus, a technology like NVIDIA ACE can put an end to all these problems, which on many occasions completely break the immersive experience of the game, and only in the best of cases does this translate into a laugh.

NVIDIA ACE, reinventing NPCs with artificial intelligence

In a complementary way (in the sense that these technologies complement each other), Avatar Cloud Engine has three fundamental components:

  • NVIDIA NeMo – As I’ve already stated, NVIDIA ACE is based on a generative model, and NeMo is the component responsible for creating, customizing, and implementing it. This personalized control of the model will allow the developers to integrate, in it, all the necessary context so that the responses adapt correctly to it. In addition, managers will be able to use NeMo Guardrails to prevent conversations and responses that should not occur.
  • NVIDIA Riva : This component is primarily responsible for improving interactions between players and NPCs, as it offers automatic speech recognition to process the player’s speech, and text-to-speech to take the response generated by the model. AI and reproduce it with the voice and the patterns of the same that have been assigned to the NPC.
  • NVIDIA Omniverse Audio2Face : to complete the credibility of the result, and as its name indicates, this component is in charge of “listening” to the text generated by the AI model and, automatically and immediately, generating the necessary facial animation for the expression of the NPC matches what you are saying.

At the moment, no game has been announced that will integrate this technology, and we may still have to wait a bit for it. However, we can assume for sure that NVIDIA already has a project in progress in this regard with a developer, so it is only a matter of time before the NPCs become much more interesting than they are today.

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