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NVIDIA partners with Ubisoft to further develop its AI-driven NPCs

These characters have been designed to interact in real time with players and the environment.

Ubisoft/NVIDIA

NVIDIA has been working on adding generative AI to non-playable characters (NPCs) for a while now. The company is hoping a newly-announced partnership with Ubisoft will accelerate development of this technology and, ultimately, bring these AI-driven NPCs to modern games.

Ubisoft helped build new "NEO NPCs" by using NVIDIA’s Avatar Cloud Engine (ACE) technology, with an assist from dynamic NPC experts Inworld AI. The end result? Characters that don’t repeat the same phrase over and over, while ignoring the surrounding violent mayhem.

These NEO NPCs are said to interact in real time with players, the environment and other in-game characters. NVIDIA says this opens up “new possibilities for emergent storytelling.” To that end, Ubisoft’s narrative team built complete backgrounds, knowledge bases and conversational styles for two NPCs as a proof of concept.

A lady NPC talking about a bank heist or something.
A lady NPC talking about a bank heist or something. (Ubisoft/NVIDIA)

These are fully-fleshed out characters with “environmental and contextual awareness” along with conversational memory. NVIDIA says each character excels with “collaboration and strategic decision-making.” The company also incorporated its Audio2Face technology to allow for appropriate facial animations and lip syncing. NVIDIA suggests that these characters push “the boundaries of game design and immersion.”

The company didn’t explicitly announce that this technology would be coming to Ubisoft titles in the nearish future, but it’s a safe bet it's on the roadmap. Perhaps soon you’ll be able to see what the sweet old man outside of the inn thinks about you absolutely obliterating the whole town. Won’t that be fun?

This isn’t the only big AI-adjacent announcement from NVIDIA this week. The company just unveiled its next-generation of GPUs, an evolution of the chips that are used to train large language models. The company promises that its Blackwell chips are seven to 30 times faster than the H100 series and use 25 times less power.