The start-up Fable does not want to do any more VR movies and instead combine animation with Artificial Intelligence. The goal is to create AI-driven characters to interact with in a natural way. That’s the next big art form.
Edward Saatchi ran the Oculus Story Studio, which created VR movies like Henry and Dear Angelica. When Facebook closed the studio in May 2017, Saatchi founded Fable in early 2018.
The studio’s first VR film project was Wolves in the Walls, based on the eponymous children’s book by English author Neil Gaiman. It allows VR users to interact with an AI-controlled girl named Lucy.
At the Sundance Film Festival, the studio is showing a new scene from the project. It comes from the unpublished second chapter of Wolves in the Walls, which will be presented in April.
Looking to tell stories in a different way
For the reorientation to so-called “virtual beings”, the studio is looking for skilled workers who are familiar with machine learning. According to Saatchi, half of the team will consist of storytellers and AI specialists.
“We have created harmony between video games and immersive storytelling. The next big task is to bring about a new conflict and a new harmony between immersive storytelling and AI, “says Saatchi to Venturebeat.
An ambitious goal
The ambitious goal of the studio is to create credible AI characters, with which you can talk normally through natural language processing and remember what you say and do. Similar to Spike Jonze’s sci-fi movie “Her”.
“A virtual being is a character that you know is not real, but to which you develop a reciprocal, emotional relationship,” says Saatchi.
Fable is organizing a “Virtual Beings Conference” in San Francisco in the summer of 2019, attended by 200 entrepreneurs, investors, storytellers, and AI engineers. At the conference, the studio wants to publish a first experience demonstrating the technology. The project is named Whispers in the Night, starring the well-known character Lucy.
Also published on Medium.