D&D General AI isn't all that great when it comes to D&D

It's interesting spotting the AI-ness of it. The words are well structured and make good grammatical sense, but it doesn't reason very deep. Especially when it's provided nouns as prompts, it doesn't dive into the implications of thet things those nouns describe. it's more an exercise in ticking boxes and filling in gaps in the boilerplate.
Yep. This is the fundamental problem with all such "predictive text" structures (indeed, almost all neural networks.) Their fundamental nature, as I've said elsewhere, is purely syntactic, not semantic. You can do an awful lot with a very powerful syntactic model; human syntax encodes a great deal of information, especially in fixed word order languages like English. But you cannot do several really basic things, because syntax, no matter how advanced, cannot encapsulate the meaning and significance of the things that appear in the structure.

And if you can get an AI that actually operates on semantic content, not just syntactic content...you'd have something shockingly close to a true general intelligence, maybe even actually a general intelligence. One that would be, in at least some ways, actually equivalent to a human being.
 

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Reynard

Legend
And if you can get an AI that actually operates on semantic content, not just syntactic content...you'd have something shockingly close to a true general intelligence, maybe even actually a general intelligence. One that would be, in at least some ways, actually equivalent to a human being.
Well, probably not. You'd just have something that works in two particular dimensions really well. General Artificial Intelligence requires essentially the artificial equivalent of biological brains to the point that it would be kind of a misnomer if you achieved it and called it "artificial." Synthetic maybe, but not artifical.
 

You can do an awful lot with a very powerful syntactic model; human syntax encodes a great deal of information, especially in fixed word order languages like English. But you cannot do several really basic things, because syntax, no matter how advanced, cannot encapsulate the meaning and significance of the things that appear in the structure.
From my (uneducated) point of view, it looks like the bot is pretty good at drawing (or pretending to draw) first-level logical connections, but not really much deeper than that. In the example I quoted, it saw 'Santa' and 'Christmas' in the prompts and clearly evaluated that elves, cold, the North Pole, toys etc were theme-appropriate, and it used all these elements in a reasonably grammatically and logically correct fashion.
 

From my (uneducated) point of view, it looks like the bot is pretty good at drawing (or pretending to draw) first-level logical connections, but not really much deeper than that. In the example I quoted, it saw 'Santa' and 'Christmas' in the prompts and clearly evaluated that elves, cold, the North Pole, toys etc were theme-appropriate, and it used all these elements in a reasonably grammatically and logically correct fashion.
That's what I said, but in layman's terms rather than formal ones. "Syntax" means the form, the rules for manipulating the symbols. E.g., one small part of English syntax is that, for standard sentences, you have "subject verb object" or "SVO" order (sometimes also phrased "noun verb predicate.") A more complex example of English syntax is that there is a nearly-fixed adjective order, which almost everyone knows without realizing it: you would never say "brick old beautiful several houses," because you know the correct sequence is "several beautiful old brick houses." (The only exception to this ordering is when something becomes a compound noun, e.g. "green great dragons" would normally be forbidden, but if "great dragon" has become a compound noun--e.g. there are "lesser dragons" and "Great Dragons"--then "green Great Dragons" becomes acceptable.)

GPT and other highly advanced models have an extremely extensive description of the syntax of English sentences, allowing them to draw correlations across multiple paragraphs. The designers built this up from training the neural network on an absolutely stupidly massive text dump of accessible Internet sources. The longer the work becomes, however, the more difficult it becomes to retain these correlations; combinatoric explosion takes over eventually. (Hence the famous "scientists discover unicorns" text generated, IIRC, by GPT-2, which gets ridiculous after about the third paragraph.)

The program does not, and cannot, hold information about the meaning of "the North Pole" or "spirit of Christmas" or the like. It just contains parameters which recognize that those two statements have much higher correlation than would be expected of any two random three-word strings would have, and thus fits them into a probabilistic model. The program, in effect, does one and only one thing: predict what the next word should be in a sentence. (It might be "the next few words" or even "the next letter," depending on the exact implementation, but the principle remains the same.) It contains literally nothing other than information related to how likely the next word(s) should be given the words it's already generated and the words it was given as its prompt. (This is why longer, precise prompts are almost always better than shorter, vague prompts, unless you specifically want the program to hare off on its own.)

Grammar is the easy part (English spelling is a nightmare, but its grammar is actually pretty simple.) Logic is a little bit harder, but not much harder. What's extremely hard is long-term preservation of that logic. Because the longer you go, the wider the spectrum of information, and the harder it is to keep a hold on where you're supposed to be when you are narrowly limited to "predict the next word." Every GPT has a finite horizon of words--dozens, scores, perhaps a few hundred. Once you get beyond that horizon, things get wild and wooly pretty quickly.

Syntax becomes less and less useful as a guide for what to say next as a text grows. Semantics, on the other hand, becomes more useful--the more meaning you understand about something, the better you will be at generating new meaning relevant to it.

Well, probably not. You'd just have something that works in two particular dimensions really well. General Artificial Intelligence requires essentially the artificial equivalent of biological brains to the point that it would be kind of a misnomer if you achieved it and called it "artificial." Synthetic maybe, but not artifical.
If it can process semantic content, it understands meaning. A system which can grapple with both syntax and semantics--with both the form of the statements and what the statements actually mean--would be capable of the same spectrum of responses as a human. It would almost certainly have a different distribution of responses (e.g., it might differ strongly from most or even all humans in terms of its values-system), but it would be effectively capable of all the same sorts of information-processing actions ("thoughts") that humans are.

To be clear, though, I agree with you. I don't think we're going to be able to develop a totally artificial intelligence, and that it will instead hinge on developing a structure which does, in fact, mimic how brains process information. Further, that current efforts at AI will end up an incredibly fascinating dead end, with useful applications in other areas besides "true AI." But one of the reasons I think that is that I think you need to have semantic-processing capability baked into the core of the system. That's what brain-mimicking AI will acquire, IMO: the ability to manipulate semantic content, not just syntactic content.
 
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Our group has been trying to figure out something to do when someone has to cancel last minute, and we had the idea of running some one-shots (generally not D&D for these purposes). The problem is that one of the group most likely to do that doesn't want to have to come up with a story.

So I remembered this thread. The question I have is, what are the best free options (if there are any) for this sort of thing?
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Being at work for me is me running my game publishing company at home, so logged fantasy prompts isn't an issue. I've dabbled with Chat GPT, doing things like generating vehicle stat blocks, which it included Special Abilities, that I hadn't anticipated, and some had some really interesting ideas, that I ended up keeping. Will I depend on AI in my publishing business? Probably not, but I will continue to dabble. I do all my own authorship (fully) never needing AI assistance for that, and I'm both a professional freelance cartographer and 3D illustrator, so I don't ever need AI generation for art or maps. I was pleasantly surprised with the results from Chat GPT in creating stat blocks, though.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That isn't great if you're looking for new ideas. In fact they're old ideas, some almost certainly Intellectual Property.

Well, "AI" is not just about whipping up writing or art based on some training data. AI can diagnose diseases given test data and symptoms. AI can (sort of) drive a car. And so on.

"AI" is a big buzzword, but it doesn't tell you what the system can do.

Given that WotC hasn't so much as produced a decent videogame in a while, I am not expecting they're suddenly going to sprout the ability to manage development of software in general, much less technology that's not in their wheelhouse.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
ChatGPT prompt: "describe a 5 room dungeon suitable for 1st level adventurers for dungeons and dragons"

Result:

Room 1: The Entrance
  • A small, dark room with a single door leading in and out. The walls are made of rough-hewn stone and the floor is covered in a thick layer of dust.
  • A set of rickety wooden stairs leads down to the next level of the dungeon.
Room 2: The Guard Room
  • A slightly larger room with a pair of skeletons armed with rusty swords standing guard.
  • A small chest in the corner of the room contains a few gold coins and a potion of healing.
Room 3: The Treasure Room
  • A room filled with piles of gold and jewels. A large chest in the center of the room contains a magical sword and a scroll of protection from fire.
  • A trap door in the corner of the room leads to a pit filled with poisonous snakes.
Room 4: The Puzzle Room
  • A room filled with a variety of puzzles and riddles that must be solved in order to open the door to the next room.
  • A small chest in the corner of the room contains a scroll of teleportation and a potion of invisibility.
Room 5: The Boss Room
  • A large room with a powerful goblin boss and several goblin minions.
  • The boss wields a powerful magic staff that can unleash bolts of lightning.
  • The boss guards a treasure trove of valuable items, including a magic ring and a potion of immortality.
 

Clint_L

Hero
A couple things I've learned:

1. To the point that "if you give it the same prompt it will just keep producing the same thing" - this is only true if you give it the same prompt in the same session, because it iterates on what you've already asked. So you have to ask for changes to get changes. However, if you give the same prompt on a new session, you get a different response. I've tried it.

2. A lot of folks are pointing out that the responses are quite generic. This is true. But the AI does not replace the human, think of it more like a really fast personal assistant. So to make the response better, you just have to iterate on it.

Example:

Give a one paragraph description of a swamp village for D&D

Muckwater is a village built on stilts deep in the heart of a vast and treacherous swamp, where the villagers make a living hunting, harvesting medicinal plants, and fishing. However, the village also has to contend with deadly creatures such as giant mosquitoes, giant leeches and giant crocodiles, as well as dark magic from powerful witches and warlocks that dwell in the ancient ruins in the area. Adventurers are often drawn to Muckwater to uncover its secrets and rid the village of its dangers, but they must be careful as one misstep can mean certain death in the swamp.

Describe three interesting NPCS in the village

  1. Chief Mudfoot: The wise and experienced leader of Muckwater, Chief Mudfoot is a respected and well-liked figure in the village. He is known for his deep understanding of the swamp and its inhabitants, and is often called upon to provide guidance to the villagers in times of trouble. He is an expert in the medicinal properties of the plants found in the swamp, and is also a skilled hunter and fisherman.
  2. Madam Moss: A powerful and feared witch who dwells in the ancient ruins deep in the swamp, Madam Moss is said to possess knowledge of dark magic that can both heal and harm. The villagers of Muckwater often seek her help for dangerous illnesses, but only at great cost and only if they can find her in the ruins. Many whisper that she has a deal with some of the swamp's deadly creatures and is able to control them.
  3. Captain Croc: A notorious pirate who prowls the murky waters of the swamp, Captain Croc is a ruthless and cunning leader who commands a crew of ruthless cutthroats. He is feared by the villagers of Muckwater, who often fall victim to his raids. He is also known to have a crocodile as a companion and is said to have a pact with it. Captain Croc is a formidable opponent and many adventurers seek to bring him to justice and end his reign of terror on the village.
What is the village tavern like?

The village tavern, The Stilted Tankard, is a rickety old building built on stilts just like the rest of the village. The tavern is a popular gathering spot for the villagers of Muckwater, where they come to share stories, play games of chance, and enjoy a pint of ale. The tavern is known for its lively atmosphere and the friendly banter of its patrons.

The interior of the tavern is dimly lit, with a smoky haze hanging in the air from the torches and the fireplace. The walls are adorned with hunting trophies and fishing nets, and the floors are made of rough-hewn planks that creak underfoot. The bar is made from reclaimed driftwood and is tended by a gruff but friendly barkeep.
The tavern serves a variety of local ales and meads, made from the fruits and herbs found in the swamp. The menu features hearty dishes such as venison stew, fried catfish, and swamp rat skewers. The tavern also has a small stage where local bards and minstrels perform, entertaining the patrons with tales of adventure and daring exploits.

The tavern also serves as a hub for adventurers, where they can gather information and rumors about the dangers and treasures hidden in the swamp, as well as hire guides that know the swamp well enough to navigate it safely.
 

Clint_L

Hero
New session, same prompt:

Give a one paragraph description of a swamp village for D&D

The swamp village is a small, isolated community nestled deep within a murky and foreboding marsh. The houses and buildings are built on stilts, elevated above the murky waters to protect them from flooding. The villagers make their living by fishing, hunting the game that thrive in the swamp, and gathering the various plants that grow there. Life is hard in the swamp, and the villagers are a hardy and self-reliant people, skilled in survival and accustomed to the dangers of the marsh. They are fiercely independent and suspicious of outsiders, but they will offer help to those in need, provided that they prove themselves trustworthy. The village is ruled by a council of the elders, who have the final say in all matters of the village. They are known for their wisdom, and their decisions are respected by all.
 

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