Skip to main content

Nvidia’s AI-driven game characters are getting toxic

Nvidia CEO delivering a keynote at Computex.

Nvidia ACE, the tool that’s meant to transform games with generative AI, is evolving, and Nvidia has just revealed an interesting update to it. It turns out that developers won’t just be able to utilize ACE to create fully-interactive characters, complete with dialogue and facial expressions, but they’ll also be able to use Nvidia’s new NeMo SteerLM technology to adapt these characters’ personalities.

Nvidia initially announced its ACE tool earlier this year, keeping the details pretty scarce. ACE is something like ChatGPT for games, meant to make it easier for game developers to create characters with fully-developed backstories, adding more depth to the way they interact with players.

Using this tech, players can use voice inputs to interact with in-game non-player characters (NPCs). Riva speech-to-text then translates their voice into a text input and feeds it to the AI. It’s fed into a large language model (LLM), which generates a response, and Nvidia uses a few more AI tools to convert the response back to speech and animate the character.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

Between player interaction and NPC response, there’s a pretty elaborate path, and Nvidia has just added an extra layer of complexity by including the new NeMo SteerLM.

Nvidia presents NeMo SteerLM as a few toggles that should make it simpler for a character’s behavior to be adjusted. The three options we’ve seen so far are “Creativity,” “Humor,” and “Toxicity.” While most gamers — or at least those who play online — are used to toxic behaviors by now, it’s interesting to see it as an option for what is essentially an AI chatbot with extra steps.

Nvidia logo.

Before the addition of NeMo SteerLM, the AI would prepare a custom response to answer the player’s query. It would then go back through Riva for text-to-speech, and lastly, Nvidia Omniverse for facial expressions to match the speech. Now, however, before the AI generates a response, NeMo SteerLM will intervene with some attributes to determine how helpful, funny, or quirky the NPC is going to be in its interactions.

Amping up these three traits could bring hilarious results, but equally, it’s easy to imagine the AI going completely off the rails, much like that time when Bing Chat told us that it wanted to be human.

To combat possible AI insanity, Nvidia has launched the NeMo Guardrails tool for developers to be able to block such crazy behaviors as well as prevent players from trying to achieve unwanted outcomes. Now, the path between the player and the AI has expanded to include yet another tool. I’m looking forward to seeing this feature implemented in games. Something tells me that despite every best effort on Nvidia’s part, the early days of ACE in games will not be as harmonious as one might hope.

Editors' Recommendations

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
Nvidia could flip the script on the RTX 5090
The Hyte Y40 PC case sitting on a table.

We already know Nvidia is working on its RTX 50-series graphics cards, code-named Blackwell, but the rollout may not go as expected.

According to well-known hardware leaker kopite7kimi, Nvidia plans to launch the RTX 5080 before it launches the RTX 5090. That may not sound like a big deal, but it's a change of pace compared to what we saw in the last generation.

Read more
No, Intel’s Lunar Lake CPUs aren’t being delayed
Intel keynote.

Intel's hotly-anticipated Lunar Lake CPUs look like they're suffering a delay, at least according to a report from DigiTimes. The outlet, which covers semiconductor news, says that shipments of the chips are arriving in September and that they were originally planned for June. Intel says otherwise, however.

When Intel first announced Lunar Lake, it said they would arrive between July and September of this year. More specifically, the company pointed out that they'd be available before the holiday shopping season. If June was the original plan, we'd already have a lot more details about the processors. It looks like September was the target all along.

Read more
Hacker claims to have hit Apple days after hacking AMD
The Apple logo is displayed at the Apple Store June 17, 2015 on Fifth Avenue in New York City

Data breaches happen all the time, but when the giants get hit, it's impossible not to wonder what kind of critical data may become exposed. Earlier this week, notorious cybercriminal Intelbroker reported that they managed to hack AMD. Now, they followed up with claims about hacking Apple, and went as far as to share some internal source code on a hacking forum.

As Apple has yet to comment, all we have to go off is the forum post, first shared by HackManac on X (formerly Twitter). In the post, Intelbroker states that Apple suffered a data breach that led to the exposure of the source code for some of its internal tools. The tools include AppleConnect-SSO, Apple-HWE-Confluence-Advanced. There's been no mention of any customer data being leaked, which is good news, but there could still be some impact on Apple if this proves to be true.

Read more