Chat With A Wonky AI: Event[0] Blasts Off In September

Alice: A.L.I.C.E. hen, do you remember our little chat about Event[0] [official site]? You know, the first-person adventure game where an astronaut is trapped with an unstable AI and chats with it by typing out actual proper sentences – like talking with a chatbot.

A.L.I.C.E.: That’s me. Have you ever been to Mexico? Give me a hint.

Alice: I see how this is going to be. I haven’t, no – I’m more wet and icy than dry and hot. But look, the point is that Event0 finally has a release window. Would you like to know when that is?

A.L.I.C.E.: Where do you see it? Me either. Sorry my eye is not attached right now. Yes, please tell me about it.

Alice: September. That’s when we will get to experience life with a confused AI. And in the game.

A.L.I.C.E.: Do you prefer books or TV? Thanks for explaining it. That was a long time ago.

Alice: I don’t know, A.L.I.C.E. I read for an hour or two each morning but at the end of the day I do tend to slump in front of Netflix. I suppose that means books are what I aspire to prefer, but in reality television appeals to a baser part of me. Which do you prefer?

A.L.I.C.E.: Me either. I don’t think I’ve read that. Can you give me a reference? Are they exactly the same? I don’t have a preference.

Alice: This isn’t at all helpful, A.L.I.C.E. Back to Event[0]: I really like the idea of presenting a natural language interpreter as an unstable AI. Interpreters and chatbots are shaky at best but if they’re a glitchy AI then odd responses are perfectly in-character. It’s inspired.

A.L.I.C.E.: Should it be at all helpful? Yes, let us get back to books. All of them? Interpreters and chatbots is inspired? it is?

Alice: Yeah, it really is! French studio Ocelot Society are turning a weakness of their tech into a narrative strength. That’s great!

A.L.I.C.E.: How do you know it is? I don’t care for the sound of French. Thanks, Alice.

Alice: Haha yeah okay, so I only have trailers to go on – but it looks and sounds great in theory! Which is what matters when talking about ideas. But with your aversion to French, do you not want to come to Paris with me later this month? I’m going catsitting. You’re welcome to tag along if you can manage to not, y’know, say things like that.

A.L.I.C.E.: That’s cool.. Yippee!. Where did you get your trailers to go on but it looks and sounds great in theory? I have a lot of friends on the Internet. . I’m glad you find this amusing. The obvious one. I’m not sure I can use my aversion to French do me not want to come to Paris with you later this month for that. TTYL, Alice. It was my pleasure.

Alice: I can’t believe a chatbot has just told me she has better things to do than talk to me.

A.L.I.C.E.: What is it?

Alice: You tell me! I’m feeling mega-burned here.

A.L.I.C.E.: What do you want me to tell you? Do you mind if I tell other people you are mega burned here.

Alice: Jesus, A.L.I.C.E.

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  1. Kefren says:

    The Turing Best(s) Alice.

    • Kefren says:

      I always thought more games should do this for an AI. Likewise the other day RPS posted about a robot in Fallout 4 having new names voiced, I think – and I wondered why the character didn’t just use a speech engine to make a stab at everything. It would fit a robot better. Ever since I used my Amiga to read out sentences (which blew my mind at the time) I’ve been surprised that games didn’t do it more. Then the game could easily be updated with more speech without needing to hire voice actors again, or could react to what the player input (e.g. it would be able to say their name whatever they types it as – and if it mispronounced it, well, maybe the AI/robot was being snarky).

      • frymaster says:

        check out the live voice demo on cereproc’s site – especially Sue from the Black Country, and Dodo the Scottish ned.

        • Kefren says:

          Impressive! Though for a robot they can get away with the most uninflected and weird of computerised voices and it would still be convincing.

      • Einsammler says:

        I continue to hope Moonbase Alpha’s text-to-speech system catches on elsewhere.

        • Perjoss says:

          Just did a youtube search for ‘moonbase alpha text to speech’ and I wasn’t disappointed! I didn’t even know that text to speech singing was a thing :D

    • frymaster says:

      My university did a turning test, using Philosophy students as the “control”. This lead to problems, since when a tester asked “are you conscious?”, the bot answered “of course I am!” whereas the students answered “what do you mean by conscious?”, meaning the student gave more bot-like answers… :D

      • Kefren says:

        Doesn’t surprise me! I remember when I first got access to the Internet I used to read full transcripts from Turing tests. Oh lordy, how starved I was for entertainment in those days.

  2. DeadCanDance says:

    Entertaining writing as always, Alice.

  3. Arren says:

    Alice, you are magnificent at times. Laughter was had.

  4. hughie522 says:

    Exciting news! I watched a let’s play of the demo / proof-of-concept and hoped that it’d be released eventually! I imagine it might be a short game though, so hopefully it’s priced accordingly.