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Being Unreal


Last year’s darling VR is embracing this year’s darling AI, as evidenced by an intriguing pivot just announced at the Sundance Film Festival. VR studio Fable is working on a new immersive storytelling experience called Whispers in the Night, which features an AI-powered virtual being named Lucy who makes use of computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) to react, recognize, and learn about users over time. As explained in this video, Fable sees this as part of a revolution in storytelling that will require creatives and technologists in equal measure. Already, Brod’s Lil Miquela and Magic Leap’s Mica have captivated audiences, which is why you’ll likely find all these virtual beings, and the people and technologies who helped create them, at this summer’s Virtual Beings conference in San Francisco.  Yes, it’s a real thing, and probably the best place to see if these next-gen avatars are compelling fiction-driven versions of Alexa and Google Assistant or simply slightly souped-up video game characters.

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