Storytellers for Sofa Dwellers: A Consistent AI World

Organizing the chaos of a world that thinks for itself


5/11/20233 min read

The AI Characters are Coming

We're on the brink of a new era in entertainment. Both endless shows and AAA games are gearing up to feature characters based on AI language models. The beauty of artificial intelligence is that it can give each character its own thoughts, feelings, and even a world ripe for discovery. And create a far deeper tapestry than a writer could ever keep in mind. It's a giant leap from the scripts and canned lines we're used to. But how will it all work? How can an AI world stay consistent? Time for some deep thinking.

Characters from the Ground Up

In an endless show, each character starts with a basic blueprint - their backstory, daily life, main goals, and so on. This could be crafted by a human or AI. Once that's set, the character starts to interact, and everything they say has to meet three conditions (at least):

1) It aligns with their persona

2) It's consistent with their past dialogues

3) It fits within the show's universe (taking into account all the other characters' chatter)

Whoa! What if there's a room full of them talking to each other?

The Intricacies of AI Interaction

Our AI characters aren't lone wolves. They live in an evolving universe where new narratives emerge as they interact. So, if one character shares a memory of a December ski trip, another character can't suddenly recount a joint adventure in the Amazon during the same period. Similarly, if one character complains about yesterday's snowstorm, another can't gripe about a heatwave in the same locale. And nobody said the world has just two characters. As characters talk, they're creating both the future and the past fabric of that world. There's only so much of a world's history that can be pre-baked when the show begins.

The AI World: A Dynamic Learning Model Itself

This brings us to an interesting conclusion. The world of an endless show probably needs its own AI, learning from every statement and interaction of its characters. The character dialogues, in turn, are then shaped by this constantly evolving model. When a new line of dialogue is created, it has to be checked for consistency in advance with all of that history.

Just a side note: this could lead to some interesting race conditions where characters may start narrating stories that contradict each other. Looks like our AI might need some serious short-term forward planning to keep every character's dialogue in check.

Games and Endless Shows

Alright, let's shift gears and talk about games. While the same principles apply, games present a unique challenge. The AI doesn't have control over what a player says or does, and players can make claims that throw a wrench in the storyline. A game's AI may have to work a bit harder as it has no control over what a player says or does. A player is even free to claim things inconsistent with the storyline, and as a general rule the AI worlds will probably try to accept whatever claims the player makes, if they're not inconsistent. For example, if the player says she enjoys pasta, other characters should take that as a fact. They'll have to be more suspicious if she says they don't exist. But otherwise, the same principles apply for how the AI must coordinate its actions.

Navigating the AI Landscape

So there you have it. AI language models will inevitably transform our shows and games, introducing characters with their own thoughts and feelings. But it's not as simple as it sounds. Maintaining consistency in the AI world, avoiding narrative collisions, and in games, handling unpredictable players - these are all hurdles we need to clear. But hey, if we get it right, it's going to be unbelievable. Or perhaps, un-disbelievable?