The Japanese operator has developed a piece of software that uses AI to generate non-playable characters (NPCs) for the metaverse based on text prompts.
One of the criticisms levelled at metaverses is that they are empty and devoid of character – like a party to which nobody showed up.
NPCs can help to overcome this problem by filling the room with bodies. They might not be as fun to interact with, but they could give enough real people something sufficiently interesting to do that it might just lay the foundations for a budding online community.
The problem is, creating an NPC normally takes a busy programmer time and effort, and once they have developed a few different iterations, they move onto the next task. This results in spaces populated by cookie-cutter NPCs that offer little entertainment.
By using AI, DoCoMo has found a way to quickly populate a metaverse with an infinitely-varied cast of characters.