What if computer-controlled players were capable of much richer levels of interaction?

For those who’ve played RPGs (role-playing games), you’ve likely interacted with an NPC (non-player character) who felt stiff and just short of inanimate. With a very narrow pool of predetermined texts and actions, the NPCs of most games make you feel like you’re talking to a wall, which can greatly subtract from the experience. Could more authentic, less linear NPC actions and dialogue yield a more positive and holistically immersive experience?

Utilizing the same IBM’s Watson Platform that powers many of the Big Data enterprises today, Rectangular Studios is attempting to answer these questions by imbuing characters within their latest game (yet to be named) with artificial intelligence. Through Watson’s natural language processing and and cloud-based machine learning, the company hopes to make interacting with an NPC feel as natural as player-to-player interaction.

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