At CES 2024 today, NVIDIA announced new production microservices for the NVIDIA ACE, which stands for Avatar Cloud Engines, which will allow developers of tools, games, and middleware to add generative AI models to their digital platforms.

The new ACE microservice has two key features: the NVIDIA Omniverse Audio2Face (A2F), which can create expressive facial animations based on the audio source, and NVIDIA Riva Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), for building multilingual speech and translation applications.

Gaming with NVIDIA ACE

To demonstrate the viability of the ACE technologies, NVIDIA released a short video in conjunction with Convai, which shows how players can interact with an AI-powered digital character, as well as converse among themselves (and creating new conversation dialogues each time), gives them object awareness, and gain the ability to lead players to objectives and traverse worlds.

In the video, an NVIDIA developer seems to converse naturally with an in-game character using his voice, with the character then responding back with the information he is requesting, as well as conducting small talk without any delays or latency.

“Generative AI technologies are transforming virtually everything we do, and that also includes game creation and gameplay,” said Keita Lida, Vice President of Developer Relations at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA Ace opens up new possibilities for game developers by populating their worlds with lifelike digital characters while removing the need for pre-scripted dialogue, delivering greater in-game immersion.”

So far, NVIDIA has partnered with Charisma.AI, Convai, Inworld, miHOYO, NetEase Games, Ourplam, Tencent, Ubisoft, and UneeQ for its new NVIDIA ACE services, which means that we might see some form generative AI-powered characters in our video games very soon.

The technology – at least for games – seems to be aimed at improving NPC interactions, which the company says “historically has been designed with predetermined responses and facial animations” and hence tend to be “transactional, short-lived and, as a result, skipped by a majority of players.” With NVIDIA ACE, A2F and ASR, the company is looking to bring lifelike characters to enhance games further and make them more immersive than was possible before.

“This is a milestone moment for AI in games,” said Tencent Games. “NVIDIA ACE and Tencent Games will help lay the foundation that will bring digital avatars with individual, lifelike personalities and interactions to video games.”

NetEase also said, “For years, NVIDIA has been the pied piper of gaming technologies, delivering new and innovative ways to create games. NVIDIA is making games more intelligent and playable through the adoption of gaming AI technologies, which ultimately creates a more immersive experience.”

Mufaddal Fakhruddin
Mufaddal Fakhruddin

Mufaddal Fakhruddin has been writing about games and technology for the past 15 years. He has lost count as to how many reviews he has written over the years, but he is sure headphone reviews make up at least 70% of that.

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