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I literally spoke with Nvidia’s AI-powered video game NPCs

Nvidia’s cyberpunk ramen shop is back. | Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

What if you could just… speak… to video game characters? Ask your own questions, with your own voice, instead of picking from preset phrases?

Last May, Nvidia and its partner Convai showed off a fairly unconvincing canned demo of such a system — but this January, I got to try a fully interactive version for myself at CES 2024. I walked away convinced we’ll inevitably see something like this in future games.

Let me be clear: the characters I spoke to were effectively generative AI chatbots. They didn’t feel like real people — we’ve got a ways to go before voices, facial expressions, and body language catch up to what’s expected of a real-life interaction. There was sometimes a little robotic stutter and often a short delay before…

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