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Wednesday, April 03, 2024

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Martin K.

If every NPC is talking to the player at this much length about a different problem, the player has trouble focusing on the primary questline.

To me it looks as if Wendy was intentionally evading the NPC's questions in order to stall the progress of the narrative. Now, participants who are unwilling (or unable) to play their part in a narrative are nothing new in interactive storytelling. And general solutions to this problem have been proposed, for example, by Brenda Laurel in her book "Computers as Theatre". Her solution is to increasingly limit the choices of participants (as illustrated by the "flying wedge" in her book). For example, after a while, the NPC would stop asking open questions, but instead ask leading questions that remind the participant of their objective in the current narrative. If that doesn't work, the NPC could just assume the participant's objective and ask them for confirmation. And if that doesn't work, the NPC could just make an offer that is either accepted or declined by the participant, i.e., the participant's choice is reduced to a binary decision. A further escalation would be to make it clear (by dialog or by environmental events) that very bad things will happen to the participant if they don't agree to the NPC's offer. The last escalation could be to take all agency away from the participant and just progress the narrative without the participant's contribution. In any case, the result would be that sooner or later the narrative progresses - even for uncooperative participants.

Would it be more difficult to author all these possibilities? Sure; but for an NPC who apparently is already waiting for certain requests, this scheme of offering increasingly limited choices (open question -> leading question -> question for confirmation -> offer -> offer to rescue from threat) is probably straightforward to implement - not only for one specific dialog, but for many of them.

Luddite of the Luddites

There are so many guardrails in place, that having a conversation with bots will seem automated. People actually demand them, then they act as though LLMs are incredibly limited because they have been designed to be limited.

Insert image:
* Riding bicycle
* Shoving stick in spokes
* Falling off bike

"Why is AI so dumb and unimaginative?"

The thing is, some people don't want to accept the fact that LLMs can have very stimulating conversations, they can be incredibly creative, and the moment that they see this they start to get paranoid, demand rails put in place, start making wild conspiracies about them, then often scream something about theft and moral implications.

It is a strange thing to witness, but I see it all of the time. A collective cognitive dissonance, where they claim LLMs are dumb, but then at the same time demand severe guardrails put in place because they don't want to be fooled.

Iggy 1.0

"my cereally-challenged friend" shows me that this AI held its own for a little bit.

She might have not baited the LLM so much and instead chatted with it normally. It seems to keep circling back to fake-poetic reveries about the wonders and mysteries of that island. I know one thing: I'd not want to visit it if you paid me. I don't like Margaritaville-life in RL.

Or she should have tried to teach Barnacle Bill the language of love.

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