GPT-3 space opera

AI Dungeon is an online text adventure which uses the “GPT” AI to generate responses to what you say. You can type in anything, and it will try to create a response. I had tried it a bit before, as well as seeing a friend try, and it had been amusing but very quickly incoherent.

Yesterday I tried its upgraded version, the “Dragon Model“. It’s only available in the premium version, but you can try premium for free for a week. Once you’re on Premium, you can enable Dragon in the settings.

The results felt… scary. I’d seen some Dragon games from other people, but seeing a transcript from someone else is quite different from coming up with random things yourself, typing them in, and seeing the system produce a perfectly fitting response a large part of the time.

Below is an excerpt from one of my games. The bolded lines starting with a “>” were written by me, the rest were written by the game. For example, I would write ‘hello, captain’, and the game would turn it into “You say ‘hello, captain'” and then generate a response.

The game lets you edit the AI’s responses in case they don’t make sense; in this excerpt, I mostly didn’t do that. A couple of times I deleted a few lines from what it wrote (usually when it started telling me what my character was doing in response), and I could also tell it to write more after seeing its initial response – e.g. when the Marine Captain had provided a short description of the Seablaze and its mission, I told the AI to keep going until the captain had provided the full-length description. But my edits were limited to removing something from the end, or telling the AI to write more.

Keep in mind that this wasn’t a pre-defined scenario or anything. I just gave it a space opera-style opening prompt and then stayed in character, and it just… completely ran with it.

Enter a prompt that describes who you are and the first couple sentences of where you start out ex:
‘You are a knight in the kingdom of Larion. You are hunting the evil dragon who has been terrorizing the kingdom. You enter the forest searching for the dragon and see’

> You are a prince on the high council of the Sixth Imperial Starfleet, dispatched eighty years ago to explore new worlds and settle them for the Empire. The fleet contains battleships for engaging with alien adversaries, as well as cloning tanks and self-assembling factories for creating both colonies and colonists for them. You have been asleep, but wake to the blaring of alarm klaxons. Calling up a situation report on your wristcom, you

hear “Sir, we’ve detected an unidentified ship in our sensors,” says one of your officers. “It’s moving away from us at a steady pace.”

> You say “Scan the vessel. Has it shown any signs of detecting us? Does it seem human or xeno?”

“No sir, it appears to be some sort of space marine vessel. It’s making no attempt to communicate either, though.”

The captain of this vessel is clearly more than just a warrior.

> You take a position at the comterminal, and say “open hailing frequencies. Send our imperial recognition code to the vessel, and route their response to my terminal.”

“Yes sir.”
You wait nervously as the minutes pass. Suddenly, the screen lights up, and a man in a red space marine uniform appears.

> You say “Greetings, Marine. This is Prince Elohim of the Sixth Imperial Starfleet, aboard the ISS Relentless.”

“Ah yes,” he grins. “We’ve been expecting you. My name is Captain Gruz, and the space marines aboard this vessel are at your command. Shall we transfer aboard your ship?

> You blink. “We have no record of your mission, Captain Gruz. What are you doing out here?”

His grin broadens. “Come now, Prince Elohim. Surely you didn’t think the Empire’s new colony expeditions were being run without the aid of the space marines, did you?

> You pause. “I had not been informed of any Marine involvement. Explain.”

“Of course. We are aboard the DS41 Seablaze, a deep-space vessel on permanent assignment at the frontier of the sector. We are permanently assigned to the exploration and mapping of new worlds, as well as providing security for the surveyors and explorers. When your fleet arrived, it was spotted immediately. We sent a message drone bearing our identification and intentions, and were ordered to stay in this location until the arrival of an imperial ship. You are that ship.”
“And what were the intentions of the drone?” you ask. “Why were you ordered to wait for an imperial ship?”
He shrugs. “It is our policy to do so.

> You say “A moment, Captain. Computer, retrieve archive records of the DS41 Seablaze.”

“One moment,” says the computer. “Here it is. The DS41 Seablaze is a deep-space frigate, currently stationed at the fringes of the Beta-Zeta sector. Its current crew consists of a captain, a first-sergeant, three lieutenants and 187 marines. Its current assignment is to map and explore new worlds. That is all.”

> You say “Computer, do the recognition codes of this vessel match that of the DS41 Seablaze?”

“One moment,” says the computer. “Yes. the identification codes of this vessel match those of the DS41.”
Captain Gruz nods.

> You say “Very well, Captain… your story seems to check out. But if the Marines are on an independent mission, why are you placing yourselves under my command?”

“The Seablaze was built for deep-space operations, Prince Elohim,” he says. “It has no planetfall capabilities. If we wish to colonize a world, we must transfer over to your vessels. You have been ordered to assist us in our mission.”
“Ah. And where is it that you wish to go? What is the nature of your mission?”
“We were sent to investigate the planet Ludicrous Tails, located in this system. There are signs that the world may be colonizable, and our orders are to investigate whether this is true.”

> You say “You say that we have been ordered to assist you. By whose authority?”

“By the highest authority. The Emperor himself.”

> You say “In that case, please transmit the order for our verification.”

He nods, and speaks quietly to someone off-screen. Then, he turns back to you.
“Done,” he says simply.
The Imperial code is scrolling up on your screen. It checks out.

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