Roblox is aiming for Westworld-like ease of design with generative AI tools
This approach also loses incredibly valuable information that’s encoded in a speaker’s volume and tone of voice, as well as the broader context of the conversation. Of the millions of minutes of conversation we’d have to transcribe every day, across different languages, only a very small percentage would even possibly sound like something inappropriate. And as we continue to scale, that system would require more and more compute power to keep up. So we took a closer look at how we could do this more efficiently, by building a pipeline that goes directly from the live audio to labeling content to indicate whether it violates our policies or not. Ultimately, we want each of our 65.5 million daily users to have an avatar that truly represents them and expresses who they are. We recently released the ability for our UGC Program members to create and sell both avatar bodies and standalone heads.
This new creation would both look like a red sports car but also have all the behavior coded into it to be driven through a 3D virtual world, he said. Sturman said generative AI learns the underlying patterns and structures of data and generates new content, such as images, audio, code, text, 3D models or other forms of media, that have not been seen before. The company says it is testing two different implementations of generative AI, one that creates virtual materials based on a natural language prompt (the car textures in the video below) and another that can create code based on text inputs. I’m generally skeptical of generative AI, but I think this is a pretty interesting use for the technology. In an interview with The Verge, Roblox CTO Daniel Sturman described how the tool might be able to create basic gameplay behaviors like teleporting you to a place if you touch a door.
Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar joins Roblox’s board
There are already developers hooking in ChatGPT into Roblox now, but Roblox aims to eventually have some of these creative tools come outside of Studio. You can get an idea of how they’ll work in this short video, which I’ve also embedded at the top of this post. In one example, somebody types in different descriptions of materials for a car, and those patterns are applied right away. In others, you can see how autocompleting code might work for things like turning on the car’s lights and making it rain in the game’s world. Mark Riedl, a professor at Georgia Tech who also specializes in AI and games, says that just as generative AI can cause unpredictable and problematic web search results, it could potentially cause games to misbehave. “Game developers are generally very conservative and want guarantees about the quality of player experience,” he says.
That said, these generative AI tools could take away work from Roblox’s developer and creator community, and I asked Sturman what he would say to people who are worried about that. Voice stream notifications are just one element of the moderation system, however. We also look at behavioral patterns on the platform, as well as complaints from others on Roblox, to drive our overall moderation decisions. The aggregate of these signals could result in stronger consequences, including having access to audio features revoked, or for more serious infractions, being banned from the platform entirely.
The Roblox CEO’s vision for 3D creation is a text prompt that creates whatever items you ask for.
Roblox sees a huge opportunity for the AI community itself to become creators on the Roblox platform. While the engine is an underlying portion of the platform, it is up to the creator to build or otherwise acquire everything in the experience, Sturman said. Dan Sturman, CTO of Roblox, said in a blog post that the company sees an opportunity to use generative AI techniques to revolutionize creation on its platform. Roblox has already made its way onto Quest VR headsets, launching in beta this year and now moving to a final version on Meta’s app store this month. Roblox just said at its developer conference that the app is arriving on the PlayStation in October, a move that further pushes the platform’s multiverse of little gaming worlds beyond phones, tablets and PCs.
Code returns with new hosts at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel September 26th–27th. I watched demos of the new Roblox tools in action, and they’re very much in line with what generative AI tools like Midjourney, Dall-E 2 and ChatGPT can already do, as Microsoft and Google have expanded these tools elsewhere. Both of the tools are also, for the moment, separate from each other and trained differently.
Founder of the DevEducation project
A prolific businessman and investor, and the founder of several large companies in Israel, the USA and the UAE, Yakov’s corporation comprises over 2,000 employees all over the world. He graduated from the University of Oxford in the UK and Technion in Israel, before moving on to study complex systems science at NECSI in the USA. Yakov has a Masters in Software Development.
Similar to other image generators, users can select from a number of options based on a prompt. Roblox’s material generator goes a step further — the AI will apply texture to the material to make lighting more realistic. To create a ControlNet, we clone the weights within a large diffusion model’s network into two versions. One is the trainable network (this provides the control; it is “the ControlNet”) and the other is the locked network. The locked network preserves the capability learned from billions of images and could be any previous image generator.
- “I think what we have seen is a transformation where a lot of the strictly technical skills will be picked up by AI, and then it will leave creators more high-level controls,” Corazza says.
- These new AI systems have significant expressive power, but that power is directed largely through “prompt engineering.” Doing so means simply changing the input text, similar to refining a search engine query if it didn’t return what you expected.
- Roblox announced a new conversational AI assistant at its 2023 Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) that can help creators more easily make experiences for the popular social app.
- The Roblox Assistant can also help with coding and answer questions about developing on Roblox, which could be useful tools for creators on the platform.
“So, all of a sudden we’ve created the ability for all the creators and experiences to have calling cards all over them, that you could use to create this web of supply chain and demand.” Roblox is exploring that possibility with its kit of developer tools, which are designed to make it possible for just about anyone to build experiences and virtual objects in the youth-focused virtual ecosystem. Another tool uses AI to moderate voice conversations in real time, which could Yakov Livshits cut down on toxicity on the platform. The company started testing this tool in August and “will be deploying the English model shortly, with another four languages by the end of the year,” according to spokesperson Roman Skuratovskiy. Next, we leverage 3D semantic segmentation research, trained on 3D avatar poses, to take that 3D mesh and adjust it to add appropriate facial features, caging, rigging, and textures, in essence, making the static 3D mesh into a Roblox avatar.
“By enabling 3rd party AI creation services to plug directly into Roblox (likely as a creation experience), we provide a mechanism for their unique intellectual property to be directly offered to Roblox users,” Sturman said. Roblox showed off its vision for the combination of user-generated content and generative AI. Though Apple’s Vision Pro and Meta’s Quest 3 are going to lead the way with a new wave of mixed reality–enabled VR headsets, Roblox isn’t making any announcements on that front right now. But it looks like Roblox is going to lean on its creative community to suss that out when the time comes. Roblox is starting to look like the type of massive metaverse platform that could be a place where, maybe, more virtual theater is staged, or meetings, or who knows what else. Being increasingly cross-platform, and full of expanding creative tools, and being VR-capable — all that sounds promising.
Corazza refers to Roblox’s own metaverse, and its hundreds of millions of users, as an example. “Until now, just the scale of content that was needed was not met,” Corazza says, referring to metaverse platforms. Developers at Supersocial, a company that makes Roblox games for lifestyle brands, have been using a tool called MidJourney to test out new designs for in-game objects. MidJourney is one of several new art tools that use AI to generate images in response to a text prompt. “It’s at an early stage, but it creates ways to build more innovatively,” says Yonatan Raz-Fridman, Supersocial’s CEO.
Roblox goes to PlayStation and unveils immersive 3D avatar and voice communication
This can be done to compute an estimation of the same image from different angles (avoiding additional exposure to rays), or to visualize possible expansion of a tumor. Roblox is also building the tools for developers to create recurring subscriptions within their experience. This will be available later this year, said Manuel Bronstein, chief product officer at Roblox, at RDC. Also, Roblox previously created a new material generator for an existing object like changing a car color to a metallic blue.
Roblox CEO David Baszucki envisions that its generative AI systems might someday work in a way that’s somewhat similar to what you might have seen on the sci-fi show Westworld, based on comments during Roblox’s Q earnings call on Wednesday. However, he said these off-the-shelf AI systems are not integrated with our platform and they often do not produce “Roblox ready” output that requires substantial follow on work from a creator. Roblox Connect, coming by the end of this year, will use cameras to track facial movements and map them onto avatars in Roblox, enabling avatar chat that’s similar to how Microsoft added avatars into Teams. While this system does have the ability to detect specific keywords such as profanity, policy violations are rarely just one word.
That means creators face significant additional work to use these versions to create content for Roblox. We have been working on ways to bring the value of these tools into Roblox Studio, and at RDC we shared an early example of Assistant. To deliver generative AI through LLMs that support the larger AI ecosystem and the Roblox community, we need models that have been trained exclusively on appropriately licensed and responsibly gathered data sets.