One-to-one chat with AI "five years off"

Rare: Project Milo jumped the gun.

It will be at least five years before we can have proper conversations with AI-driven on-screen characters, according to Rare.

Speaking to Wired about the the development of the Kinect system, creative director of the Microsoft-owned developer Rare, George Andreas, said, "Realistically, if you want a one-to-one conversation with an AI-driven character, that's at least five years away."

Rare's development director for Kinect, Nick Burton added, "But thinking about where that tech is going, if it's cloud-based, passing the Turing test becomes much easier. You just need a huge internet-like database, then work out how to data mine that."

Unfortunately, Rare was not willing to commit to a timescale for when machines would become sentient and instigate global thermonuclear war against their creators.

Elsewhere in the interview, Andreas reveals that Rare prototyped 20 different events for the forthcoming Kinect Sports, including horseracing and cycling, before whittling it down to six.

"We wanted to compete head-on with Wii Sports. We knew we could do so much more with Kinect than you could with Wii," Andreas reckons.

It seems a sports title wasn't Rare's only idea for a Kinect game though. "Wouldn't it be great if the rug in your living-room suddenly sprang to life where you're riding a raft with sharks swimming around?" asked Burton.

Kinect arrives on 4th November (10th in the UK) with Rare's Kinect Sports as one of the launch titles. You'll have to wait a little longer for the magic carpet shark game.

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