Years ago, industry visionary Peter Molyneux promised a means to interact with digital avatars using speech. Despite our high hopes, the experience never came to fruition, although another studio hasn’t lost hope. North Side Inc., out of Montreal Canada, has done away with the typical way of responding to AI by selecting dialogue trees on screen, and instead relies on the user’s voice to guide the action. The development team currently has quite a bit in place in terms of content, and is looking to release content in an episodic manner — although the full prologue for the first episode will be made accessible to all backers, and won’t be available after sales start. The first two episodes are already underway, but the team has a target of 12 total.
The tech powering the game, “natural language understanding (NLU) technology – deep Artificial Intelligence, which the company began researching in 2001,” seems promising, based on the trailer. Northside claims “Currently, the software understands English well enough to enable a player to complete game levels, as long as they don’t veer too much off topic.” Set on a South Pacific set of island in the year 2021, the world faces decline due to excess population, poverty stricken denizens, and withering resources.
Similar to Isaac Asimov’s critically acclaimed novel iRobot, our automaton creations seem to be the only solution to dig humans out of the hole we’ve created. Today is the first of the team’s Kickstarter, with a goal of 100,00 CAD.