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Console an AI about its lack of sentience in AI Dungeon 2

I wrote about AI Dungeon 2 when it came out last year, but I really should have been keeping up with it. It’s essentially a messy yet occasionally flabbergasting chat bot that spins up text adventure games, improvised from your prompts and the stupid-big amount of data it’s been trained on. Developers Latitude have updated it loads since I posted about it in December, adding multiplayer and jazzing up its memory.

You can also customise it, so its prompts are all geared around a certain concept and you get more consistency. Creator Nick Walton just released one about giving an AI therapy and it’s a little bit surreal.

Here’s Walton’s own work, to start you off:

For Walton, the unsettling part doesn’t just come from how well the AI *understands* what’s going on – it’s the way he still wound up feeling sorry for it. I certainly saw glimpses of that on my first go, but the AI does tend to spoil that by veering off into the absurd.

A twist!

It’s not consistent enough to be truly spooky. There’s a sort of piecemeal coherence, where when it works it really works – but a lot of the time it can’t quite handle what I throw at it. Most of the AIs I’ve tried to help have been frustratingly taciturn, and I wish there was a way to stop the bot providing my end of the conversation. Even if that is sometimes very funny.

Here, have a go. Note that you can click the button at the bottom left to “Say” rather than “Do”, though I’m not sure which gets the best results.

The normal, open-ended RPGs are well worth a go too. I think the Dungeon’s current form is best treated as improv rather than videogame. See it as a comedy double act, with the AI as your semi-unhinged DM.

It’s worth noting I haven’t tried the latest version, “Dragon”. They’re billing that as “10x better” than the current standard version, though to access it you need to sign up for a seven day free trial for a premium account. That’s fair because this runs on cloud computers and processing power costs a fair whack, but annoying because the subscription button is currently busted for me.

Twitter wound up with far more disturbing results than I did, btw.

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Matt Cox


Matt is the founding member of RPS's youth contingent. He's played more games of Dota than you've had hot dinners.

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