AIs inviting each other to Valentine's Day in Smallville???

What Happens When You Put 25 ChatGPT-Backed Agents Into an RPG Town?

A group of researchers at Stanford University and Google have created a miniature RPG-style virtual world similar to The Sims," writes Ars Technica, "where 25 characters, controlled by ChatGPT and custom code, live out their lives independently with a high degree of realistic behavior."
"Generative agents wake up, cook breakfast, and head to work; artists paint, while authors write; they form opinions, notice each other, and initiate conversations; they remember and reflect on days past as they plan the next day," write the researchers in their paper... To pull this off, the researchers relied heavily on a large language model for social interaction, specifically the ChatGPT API. In addition, they created an architecture that simulates minds with memories and experiences, then let the agents loose in the world to interact.... To study the group of AI agents, the researchers set up a virtual town called "Smallville," which includes houses, a cafe, a park, and a grocery store.... Interestingly, when the characters in the sandbox world encounter each other, they often speak to each other using natural language provided by ChatGPT. In this way, they exchange information and form memories about their daily lives.

When the researchers combined these basic ingredients together and ran the simulation, interesting things began to happen. In the paper, the researchers list three emergent behaviors resulting from the simulation. None of these were pre-programmed but rather resulted from the interactions between the agents. These included "information diffusion" (agents telling each other information and having it spread socially among the town), "relationship memory" (memory of past interactions between agents and mentioning those earlier events later), and "coordination" (planning and attending a Valentine's Day party together with other agents).... "Starting with only a single user-specified notion that one agent wants to throw a Valentine's Day party," the researchers write, "the agents autonomously spread invitations to the party over the next two days, make new acquaintances, ask each other out on dates to the party, and coordinate to show up for the party together at the right time...."

To get a look at Smallville, the researchers have posted an interactive demo online through a special website, but it's a "pre-computed replay of a simulation" described in the paper and not a real-time simulation. Still, it gives a good illustration of the richness of social interactions that can emerge from an apparently simple virtual world running in a computer sandbox.

Interstingly, the researchers hired human evaluators to gauge how well the AI agents produced believable responses — and discovered they were more believable than when supplied their own responses.