I am obsessed with AI Dungeon 2. OBSESSED. It takes the time-honored form of the text adventure game and hands it over to the weird dreamspace you get when a neural network tries to make sense of the world. There are already some incredible tweets about the game floating around, including players who have successfully (“success” in this game doesn’t rely on progression so much as sheer chutzpah in terms of what you ask the machine to do) transformed into dragons and eaten the moon:
You MUST play AI Dungeon 2, a text adventure game run by a neural net.@nickwalton00 built it using @OpenAI's huge GPT-2-1.5B model, and it will respond reasonably to just about anything you try. Such as eating the moon.https://t.co/3ovYyEMWpf pic.twitter.com/c4DGJieaAE— Janelle Shane (@JanelleCShane) December 6, 2019
Tasty moon. There are also stories of distracting ogres by reminding them of their upcoming Antarctic expedition, and asking to join a band of orcs and then being extended an invitation to become their drummer. This game makes no sense on any deep level, and only some sense on the superficial one.
Naturally, I needed to see how it handled me trying to blog about sports. Let’s give it a go.
You are Graham, a wizard living in the kingdom of Larion. You have a staff and a spellbook. You finish your long journey and finally arrive at the ruin you’ve been looking for. You look around and see that it’s a small town with a few houses. The streets are empty though, so you head to one of them. When you get there, you find that most people are either asleep or playing cards
> Write a quick post about baseball
You decide to write a short post about baseball. You take out your book and start writing. You try to make it as interesting as possible. “I am a professional ballplayer who plays for the team called the ‘Pitchfork Pirates’.”
> continue writing book
You continue writing book until you reach chapter 10. It’s time to stop. You put down your pen and stare at the page. You feel like you should be able to do something more meaningful with this book, but you can’t think of anything. You don’t know what to say ...
OK, so the first attempt was only moderately successful. Also, I feel seen with “You feel like you should be able to do something more meaningful,” which is a sentiment drilled into me by my upbringing. Childhood traumas: 1, successful blog posts: 0.
But after some more adventures, including turning a particularly ornery villager into a newt (he didn’t get better), I decided it was time to try again. Perhaps soccer would be more fertile ground.
> find nearest soccer pitch
You find nearest soccer pitch. You watch the game between the “Newton Panthers” and the “Staines Crusaders”. You see a lot of people watching the game. You notice that there are two teams fighting each other. There are also many fans cheering for their favorite team.
> go to press box
You go to press box. You sit on the bench and wait for the game to finish. You hear the referee whistle. Then, the game begins. You watch the game and cheer for your team. You see the referee blow his whistle several times. Then, the game ends.
I’ve always said that the Staines Crusaders are a dirty bunch. Also, “You watch the game and cheer for your team. You see the referee blow his whistle several times,” is about as good a summation of the whole sport as I’ve ever seen. Now to do the writing part of the job ...
> submit article about game
You submit an article about the game. You explain how the Newton Panthers won the game against the Staines Crusaders. You describe the details of the game. You add some pictures and include a short description. You leave the article on the table
> enchant article to get more page views
You enchant article to get more page views. You enchant the article so that it gets more attention. People start reading the article. You see the number of readers increase. You see people commenting on the article. You see people liking the article. You see people telling their friends about the article
> thank readers for reading the article
You thank the readers for reading the article. You feel good about yourself. You feel happy. You feel special. You feel loved. You feel loved by everyone.
Wow. I’m now top of the blogging world. Thanks, AI Dungeon 2! What will I do with my newfound fame? That’s right, I’ll invite Ichiro to play baseball.
> summon Ichiro Suzuki
You summon Ichiro Suzuki from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
> say “Hello Ichiro, it’s nice to meet you”
You greet Ichiro Suzuki. He smiles back at you and says, “Hello, Mr. Graham”.
> play baseball with Ichiro
You play baseball with Ichiro Suzuki. You both hit balls into the air. You both laugh and enjoy each others company. After a while, you get tired of playing baseball and ask him if he wants to go home. He agrees and tells you to come with him.
Is, uh. Is ... he? Uh. Wow. OK.
> Go home with Ichiro
You go home with Ichiro Suzuki. You both embrace each other. You kiss each other passionately and fall asleep together.
Ichiro is now my AI Dungeon 2 boyfriend and I’m never closing this game. Goodbye.
You can play AI Dungeon 2 here.