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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Generating a voice Driven Westworld Maze Skill for Alexa

Was wondering what could be done beyond the very simplistic interactions in most Alexa skills.  This Adage article show how some more creative things can be done.   With a few details of the construction, but not enough to do something similar.  Still a creative possibility.  Perhaps as a model for constructing conversational interaction in assistants.  Check out the full article.

Westworld: The Maze: An all-Audio feat of conversational AI
By I-Hsien Sherwood.  in AdAge

Working on a condensed, 15-week timeline, 360i and HBO created "Westworld: The Maze," an Amazon Alexa voice skill that lets players control the actions of a "host," an artificial humanoid in the show's Western theme park, on a quest for personhood. Here's how they built an all-audio feat of conversational AI.

Phase 1: Discovery (3 weeks)
In March, the team decided the Alexa project would be an interactive, all-audio game. They nailed down the creative concept, a series of challenges based on the pyramid of consciousness espoused by Anthony Hopkins' "Westworld" character, Robert Ford: memory, improvisation and self-interest.

Phase 2: Game design and writing (4 weeks)
"You have to start with the user experience: How does the game work? Where are all the places I can go? How do I win? How do I die?" says Andrew Hunter, creative director at 360i. There are more than 60 paths through the game and 32 ways to die, including getting shot, rebooted, eaten by cannibals or trampled in a stampede.

Players speak commands in response to prompts from characters in the story, who might offer to pour them a drink or ask where they would like to go. The writers had to account for anything a player might say, whether right, wrong or nonsensical. ... " 

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