A Virtual Being Has Won an Emmy Award For the First Time
Over the past few years, several virtual reality projects have been nominated for the Emmy Award and some have even gone on to bag the awards. The latest winner is the project Wolves in the Walls by the creative studio Fable Studio. In winning the award, the lead character in the project, Lucy, became the first virtual being to win an Emmy Award.
In other words, this is the first virtual artificial personality to win an Emmy Award. The word “dystopian” is thrown around a lot these days as technologies inch closer to breaking moral-ethical frontiers but it is fascinating and creepy at the same time to imagine a future where real humans will be in competition with virtual beings (artificial virtual reality personalities) for real-life creative awards!
Fable Studio’s Wolves in the Walls was awarded the Primetime Emmy for ‘Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media’. It was vying for the same award with ILMxLAB’s episodic Star Wars virtual reality series Vader Immortal: Episode One (the Episode II is set to launch soon).
Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over (Part 1) is a n adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean’s children’s book. Originally, this was an Oculus Story Studio project. Upon closing, it was soon taken up by the virtual beings startup Fable Studios, founded by Pete Billington and Edward Saatchi, with support from Facebook.
The story is based around a character named Lucy, a young girl who seems to have a very vivid imagination but that perception is soon debunked by events. Lucy hears noises within walls and she is convinced the eerie noises are being made by wolves. The only way she can put these at bay is by believing that they are actually real.
This is an interactive story so you will be accompanying her in the house and helping keep the wolves at bay when members of her family don’t even believe her.
The unique aspect about Lucy and one that makes her a very special character is that she is one of the first AI-powered virtual beings with whom human beings can develop a two-way friendship.
Lucy leverages machine learning to interact with the viewers in a very organic way and to help build a deeper emotional connection. The studio is also planning to introduce memory into the experience so as to create a scenario where the actions of the viewers will have some bearing on the later installments.
The idea of a virtual being receiving a creative award is quite a revolutionary one but this won’t be the last time that we will be witnessing something like this. There are other Virtual Beings that are already revolutionizing storytelling and starting to tap into the power of machine learning to create meaningful relationships with real human beings. Examples of these include Mica, Lil Miquela and Alexa. Don’t be surprised if in the not do distant future, we will have a Virtual Being winning an Oscar for some superb performance in a live-action movie or one that will win a Grammy for some album and so forth.
In the future, these Virtual Beings are going to become the norm and they will be superstars in their own right as developers continue to pursue greater immersion in virtual reality. You can download Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over for Oculus Rift and Rift S for free.