Fable is a content creation studio founded by Edward Saatchi and other alumni from Oculus Story Studio. After working on projects like Henry and Dear Angelica, then moving on to Fable and working on Wolves in the Walls, Saatchi was satisfied with the revelation that VR is already being taken seriously as an art form through various awards and other recognition.
Now, it’s time for the “next great art form”: artificial intelligence. Fable’s debut effort on that front will be an “AI Experience” according to Saatchi dubbed Whispers in the Night.
Coinciding with this announcement Fable is also pivoting the entire company to focus on storytelling with virtual beings. According to Fable, a virtual being is defined as, “an AI-powered character with whom you can build a two-way relationship” or in other words an extremely smart and powerful AI that’s personified in a digital space that you can interact with. To showcase this new form of storytelling, Whispers in the Night Saatchi described to me as “living” inside of a VR experience in which you have a conversation with a small girl named Lucy and share secrets with her.
One of the most striking things about Wolves in the Walls, Fable’s last project, that stood out to me the most was just how emotive the little girl’s eyes were when she spoke with me. She was reactive to me and what I did in ways that few VR NPCs have been and now they seem to have taken that feeling and ran with it. Anyone that has tried a VR experience in which the characters seem aware of you and respond to your interactions can attest to just how amazing it feels. It’s unlike anything you’ll have experienced before.
Specifically, according to a press release from Fable:
“Whispers in the Night transports you into a memory where you and 8-year old Lucy share an emotionally connected moment through a conversation. It is part of a collection of interwoven chapters. Audiences will discover and grow alongside Lucy as she shares her deepest thoughts and imaginations, completely unique to their personal exchange. What will you say? What will Lucy remember? When does a moment become a memory?”
The most intriguing part about Whispers in the Night to me is the notion that Lucy will actually remember things you tell her for future encounters. Using Natural Language Processing she will be able to understand you and respond realistically, as well as track your movement and offer you objects inside the digital world. Then what you do and say in Whispers in the Night will actually carry over into Wolves in the Walls since she is the same little girl. If that actually works as described, that’s pretty amazing.
The first chapter of Wolves in the Walls is what we saw last year and now the second chapter is finally releasing this week at Sundance as well. This new snippet contains an entire Quill animation inside. And finally, Fable is announcing the first ever conference dedicated entirely to immersive AI interactions called The Virtual Beings Conference. It will be held this summer in San Francisco, CA — exact dates and location to be determined.
Fable cites other AI experiences and companies as inspiration and peers such as Mica from Magic Leap, Artie, and Lil Miquela among others.
Whispers in the Night is being officially announced today by Fable to coincide with Sundance but it won’t be available for people to try first-hand until the debut Virtual Beings Conference in San Francisco later this summer. For more details on the Virtual Beings Conference, you can check out the official website here.
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