Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, to be released November 8, is asking fans for help “raising” one of its protagonists. Premiere, an NPC, will scan and mine Twitter feeds for personality traits and mould her in-game persona in our image, Crunchyroll reports.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization’s Premiere
Premiere is a SAO: Hollow Realization’s protagonist, a teenaged girl who is an “NPC character”. The upcoming PS4/Vita sci-fi role-playing game, already released in Japan, follows a four-player party’s adventures in a virtual reality MMO.
Bandai Namco has been teasing Premiere for months. SAO protagonists had met her in the VR MMO’s closed beta (Origin). Now, she’s a part of the “artificial intelligence girl raising project CODE ZERO: Premiere”. To help “raise” her, navigate to premiere.sao-game.jp on your smartphone and give the site access to your Twitter. She’ll scrape your tweets for keywords, which she’ll abstract into potential personality traits.
Although Premiere will exist in the game on day one, she’ll be tweaked with a post-release patch that reflects the data scraped from Twitter accounts. Premiere’s “vocabulary and personality”, taken from her Twitter interactions, will congeal into a specific character, possibly good or bad, Otakomu reports.
You can watch her grow in the fungal petri dish that is Twitter live on @PremiereSAO. Right now, she only knows Japanese, but translations reveal her cutely memorising definitions, often surreal or wrong. It’s a smart move for Sword Art Online’s franchise, which is all about how humanity reacts to immersive technology.
Now, this isn’t unprecedented. Microsoft’s chat bot, Tay AI, went from “innocent teen” to “racist troll” in less than 24 hours after her exposure to Twitter (the bot is now down). Premiere’s descent into evil is less inevitable — she doesn’t mine data from information tweeted at her directly.
Unless several fans give her access to accounts already riddled with hate speech, she might turn out OK. And who would do that?