Nippon Telegraph and Telephone: Investment in Theai, Inc. (Inworld AI), a development platform for creating AI-based virtual characters

2022.8.24

Investment

NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc.

NTT DOCOMO Ventures Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Chairman and CEO: Yuko Sasahara, hereinafter NDV) has invested in Theai, Inc.*1. (Headquarters: California, USA, CEO: Ilya Gelfenbeyn, ci -after Inworld AI), a development platform for creating AI-powered virtual characters to populate immersive realities including the Metaverse, VR/Augmented Reality, games and virtual worlds.


In recent years, online multiplayer games that allow many people to play at the same time and the “metaverse”, a virtual space on the Internet, have attracted attention in Japan and abroad. In these services, users act as their alter ego, using avatars (a virtual character, such as an anthropomorphic person or animal, which primarily uses 3D data). The use of avatars has shown the potential to provide experiences that differ from the real world through the realization of new communications that transcend differences in gender, age, race and appearance, as well as across the participation in EC and live music events in virtual environments. stores built on virtual spaces, and raised high expectations.

Inworld AI is a US-based startup that develops and provides a development platform for creating AI-powered virtual characters. The Inworld AI platform enables AI to generatively answer user questions and implement conversational capabilities by including multiple voice and language modes, as well as gestures, for already created avatars. Additionally, writers, designers, and creators can easily create attractive characters by simply writing a virtual character’s name, role, background, and other parameters in the text (using ‘Inworld Studio, a proprietary tool) and by manipulating personality and emotional parameters. Additionally, your characters can work with standard game engines such as Unreal Engine and Unity, which are often used for online multiplayer game development and metaverse development.


The use of avatars as virtual characters created by Inworld AI will allow us to provide new experiences that differ from the real world, such as interactive characters with AI to manage customer support in virtual stores late at night and early in the morning or improve engagement through natural conversations with consumers.

We believe that the platform provided by Inworld AI has a strong affinity with the metaverse services developed by NTT DOCOMO and other initiatives such as promoting the use of AI technology within the NTT Group. With this investment, we will accelerate discussions on future collaborations with the NTT DOCOMO Group and application to solutions as we work to create new value.

■ About Inworld AI
Company Name: Theai, Inc. (aka Inworld AI)
Address: Palo Alto, California, USA
Representative: Ilya Gelfenbeyn
Company Profile: Provide a development platform for developers to create virtual AI characters
URL: https://www.inworld.ai/

*1 Inworld AI is the name of the platform provided by Theai.inc and its external designation.
*Company and product names shown are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

[Attachment] Features of Inworld AI
Inworld AI’s development platform creates AI-powered virtual characters that enable generative conversations and answer questions between users and characters, without developers needing to create scripts prepared or train large machine learning datasets. The virtual character created by AI includes multiple game character styles, voices, different languages ​​and gestures in the interaction.

It is possible to implement functions to carry out conversations with avatars, virtual characters and NPCs (non-player characters) using an AI that understands not only voice and language, but also gestures and other styles. multiple.

Advantage 1: Inworld Studio enables high-performance AI creation with simple operations
Using the proprietary tool Inworld Studio, writers, designers, and creators, even non-machine learning engineers, can create engaging characters by simply writing text descriptions of name, role, background and other parameters of the virtual character, and by manipulating personality and emotions. settings. The created character can then be instantly interactive.

Advantage 2: Cooperation with famous game engines
Characters created with Inworld Studio can be linked and output to Unreal Engine and Unity. Inworld AI can be easily used with familiar game engines, such as linking game engine logic and storyline to character context created with Inworld Studio, as well as adjusting and managing voice, speech, emotions and other behaviors.

Advantage 3: Highly Specialized Inworld AI Team
CEO and Founder Ilya Gelfenbeyn was the founder of API.ai. The company was acquired in 2016 by Google. The team has experience in creating innovative products and a vision in the field of conversational AI for consumer products.

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