NTT DOCOMO uses AI to generate metaverse NPCs

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NTT DOCOMO has developed a new generative AI system that can automatically create non-player characters (NPCs) for metaverse environments using just text descriptions. 

The technology is believed to be the first of its kind that can generate fully-formed NPCs including appearances, behaviours, and roles in around 20 minutes without needing programming expertise.

DOCOMO’s system integrates three different generative AI models: one for behaviour logic, one for animations, and one for appearances.

The behaviour logic model creates a unique “behaviour tree” defining how an NPC will act based solely on text input. Previously, skilled programmers would have to manually code behaviour trees which can be time-consuming.

The animation and appearance models then take the behaviour tree and generate skeletal animations and 3D model appearances to match the described NPC. The three models are linked together to create cohesive NPCs encompassing looks, actions, and logical behaviours:

“The advancement of this technology is part of DOCOMO’s Lifestyle Co-Creation Lab, working together with partners to evaluate life-enhancing technologies,” explained DOCOMO in a press release. “Its objective is to craft an Innovation Co-Creation Platform accessible across various industries.”

DOCOMO says it plans to integrate the NPC generation tech with its large language model infrastructure and personal data resources as part of its wider metacommunication and community identity goals.

The telco aims to implement the generative AI system in the DOOR metaverse operated by its subsidiary NTT QONOQ within the next fiscal year. It could be used to quickly populate metaverse environments with interactive characters to support services across areas like regional revitalisation and development.

DOCOMO unveiled its latest innovations including the NPC generator at its online “docomo Open House ’24” event on January 17.

With metaverses gaining traction, the generative AI NPC creator could save developers substantial amounts of time and resources while delivering more immersive experiences for users.

(Photo by julien Tromeur on Unsplash)

See also: Qualcomm unveils Samsung’s XR headset chipset

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