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Microverse Battery in Real Life? New Interactive VR 'Film' Lets You Play God to Evolving AI

Image credits: Venice Film Festival.

Image credits: Venice Film Festival.

You can either observe the agents as they coo in their baby-voiced computer gibberish or you can interfere in their world as an agent of change, picking them up to calm them and break up fights, or casting them off into the void below as punishment. All of which impacts their development.

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Buzz Staff

In an episode of Adult Swim's popular animated show, Rick and Morty, a 'microverse' battery is explored, which talks about a group of sentient life forms building a civilization and trying to generate power to supply their 'God' Rick.

In a very strange, Black Mirror turned reality scenario, you now get to experience this first-hand.

Agence, an interactive “dynamic film” that blends virtual reality, gaming, and cinematic storytelling is going to let audiences influence a handful of evolving, three-legged AI creatures, known as agents.

The 'film' which debuted at the Venice International Film Festival, is a co-production between Toronto-based indie studio Transitional Forms and the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada.

The film's description reads, "Would you play god to intelligent life? Agence is an interactive experience that places the fate of artificially intelligent creatures in your hands. In their simulated universe, you have the power to observe, and to interfere. Maintain the balance of their peaceful existence or throw them into a state of chaos as you move from planet to planet. Watch closely and you’ll see them react to each other and their emerging world. Once you meet the Agents, their story will never be the same."

“I think the core artistic vision of this is to cause people to question humans’ role in artificial intelligence,” Mashable quoted Pietro Gagliano, creator of Agence and founder of Transitional Forms, sayinf “both in its creation and interaction right now. These are virtually living creatures that are learning. They’re learning from us and we’re teaching them. This is a moment that I hope that we look back on in time as, you know, we made the right choices. And we decided to empathize with these creatures that didn’t ask to be born.”

The gameplay, or lack of it for the film is the same was raising a Neopets: There are no skills to level up or points to gain. You can either observe the agents as they coo in their baby-voiced computer gibberish or you can interfere in their world as an agent of change, picking them up to calm them and break up fights, or casting them off into the void below as punishment. All of which impacts their development.

Agence will be released on Steam, Oculus Store, and Viveport, and even 2D PC and a mobile version for iOS and Android.


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