Neal Stephenson Joins Judges for $1M Inworld AI Character Grants
Virtual being platform Inworld AI is offering $1 million in development funding to AI character creators for games and other digital experiences. Snowcrash author Neal Stephenson and other leaders in AI and entertainment will serve as judges for the new Inworld AI Character Grants.
AI Character Grants
Inworld’s character grants will disburse up to $50,000 to those designing AI characters built with Inworld’s platform for use in current and upcoming video games, metaverse worlds, or other digital interactions. Inworld Studio’s engine constructs virtual beings out of what the user writes in the text fields, supplemented by the slider bars. That gives creators a huge amount of flexibility to define their AI personality to the smallest detail. They can fill in a whole history for the virtual character; their history, family, interests, experience, and knowledge. Inworld offers some general knowledge databases, and designers can connect the AI to other knowledge sources, such as a company’s background for a corporate representative. Interested developers can submit gaming NPCs, virtual world populations, AI influencers and brand representatives, and other virtual beings. Once the personality is set, the AI can be linked to a look and voice from Inworld’s library of licensed avatars and embedded as an API in its new virtual home in digital space.
“We’re excited to see Inworld characters unlock new experiences in gaming, entertainment, and the enterprise,” Inworld co-founder and chief product officer Kylan Gibbs said. “The creative possibilities of generative AI are endless, so we welcome applications that push the boundaries
of storytelling and interactive entertainment. For us, the more innovative and experimental, the better.”
Developers interested in the grants can submit gaming NPCs, virtual world populations, AI influencers or brand representatives, and other virtual beings. The AI Character Grant program follows Inworld receiving an Epic MegaGrant from Unity creator Epic Games as well as graduating from this year’s Disney Accelerator program, where it demonstrated a prototype ‘Droid Maker’ for designing the look and personality of an interactive droid from the Star Wars universe, as seen in the video above. The judging panel Stephenson is joining will also include Star Wars producer Kiri Hart, Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell and Inworld chief creative officer John Gaeta, who also helped invent bullet time for The Matrix.
“This is a chance to be at the forefront of an emerging artform, and create something the world has not yet experienced. These grants can be obtained by any creator or company, known or unknown, that are able to propose a unique, compelling, innovative or smart concept, approach or new application,” Gaeta said. “More than just persona creation, an AI character can influence the expressiveness, behavior, performance, motives, and actions of virtual characters. The possibilities are endless. So, we are challenging people to lean in, take some risks, and have fun doing that.”