An NPC using Convai AI conversational technology
Image via Convai

Cringy AI game demo proves once again the technology just isn’t ready yet

Cyberpunk meets AI?

Convai, a development team that makes conversational AI for virtual worlds, just released a trailer for an upcoming AI-powered experience called Project Neural Nexus. Community reactions to the trailer were overwhelmingly negative, with players calling it “soulless” and “a joke.”

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The trailer shows a first-person Cyberpunk-like experience where a player walks around a virtual world and converses with NPCs. While some first-person shooting is shown toward the end, the AI conversations are the highlight of the trailer, which according to the YouTube comments, completely missed the mark.

“When you thought games couldn’t be anymore soulless, capitalism finds a way,” one YouTube commenter wrote.

Another said: “This is a joke, right? Like, no publisher actually looked at this and thought this was in any way, shape or form ready to be proof of concept for a game sold for actual money, right? They are aware that this isn’t even close to a passable product, right”?

Surprisingly, developer Convai chimed in, saying: “This is a technology showcase of building a game with an NPC, driving the story conversationally, and interacting with the lore with spatially aware NPCs.”

A player is receiving a gun and having a conversation with an AI powered NPC
I don’t think the technology is quite there yet. Image via Convai

Many other comments point out how unnatural and unsettling the NPCs sound and note that developers should hire human actors instead of relying on AI technology. 

Convai’s official page lists Project Neural Nexus as an experience rather than a game demo. A downloadable version will be available sometime in the future.

While it seems the gaming industry will start using more AI-powered tools in the near future, this trailer goes to show the community simply isn’t ready to accept soulless AI NPCs in video games. 


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Author
Aleksandar Perišić
Staff Writer. Aleksandar has been gaming ever since he can remember and has been writing game reviews long before he joined Dot Esports. He loves MMORPGS, Nintendo and Indie games. He also steals gifts on Christmas but then gives them back when everyone starts to sing.