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Peridot Virtual Pets Are Now More Lifelike Thanks to AI

The cute Dots in Niantic’s AR game now react to real-world objects, reflecting their virtual personalities

AR pet simulation game Peridot is using generative AI to make its virtual pets more lifelike. According to a recent news post by developer Niantic Labs, in-game pets called Dots can now react in unexpected ways to situations, like seeing a cat or being able to reach a plate of food.

“Today virtual pets are becoming even more lifelike in Peridot, the first fully augmented reality game to use generative AI to give virtual creatures, or ‘Dots’ the smarts to react in unexpected, surprising and delightful ways to things they find in the real world – just like a real pet would do,” states Niantic.

Additionally, Niantic says that Dots will now be able to give users the impression that they are learning about their surroundings. The company claims that Peridot is the first fully AR game as well as the first to use generative AI to make virtual pets more adorable. Further, the developer believes its use of generative AI in its AR pet sim marks one of the first times generative AI has been implemented within a mobile game.

How Peridot’s Generative AI Works

Peridot utilises Niantic’s AI algorithms to convert real-world objects into accurate virtual 3D shapes so Dots can interact with them. Dots can recognise various things, including food, flowers and pets. The name of the identified object and the pet’s personality traits are then sent to a custom version of Meta’s Llama 2. Next, the game asks Llama how the pet might respond to the identified object.

“We see this as an early example of how game designers and producers can use generative AI to make characters in games more lifelike and interactive,” Niantic adds. “More broadly, as augmented reality characters evolve, they will need to use AI not only to understand the world but also how to react to it and other people.”

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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