I'm sure most of you know about ChatGPT by now. It's that buzzword floating around conversations whenever the topic changes to AI, whether it's Microsoft's Bing Chat or one of its competitors; there are plenty of exciting uses for digital assistants. Plenty of people had demonstrated creative uses for manipulating the language learning models, leading to the eventual addition of dedicated creative modes allowing a little more flexibility in its answers.
Even I've burned multiple hours of my evenings asking AI bots silly questions, prompting dumbed-down versions of high-brow concepts with Bing Chat explaining them to me like I'm a monkey. Technology good. Banana also good. Once you've exhausted a line of inquiry about the meaning of the universe, it's easy to turn to fiction.
It turns out Bing can offer brand-new adventures within the worlds of your favorite video games; if you're willing to stimulate your imagination. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bing Chat edition exists in theory, but something left me feeling disappointed after playing.
Fire up Bing Chat on Microsoft Edge or whatever browser you'd prefer to use with the magic of some simple extensions, and you'll see the option for the AI assistant to reply in a 'more creative' manner. It starts straightforward enough, testing Bing's knowledge of Skyrim as a video game that not only exists but has existed for what feels like an eternity. As expected, the response reads like the introduction to a Wikipedia page, boring as ever, filled with platforms, dates, and a noticeable lack of creativity.
As a more involved test, I quizzed Bing Chat with its knowledge about the game's most prominent characters and locations to see if it could at least comprehend who might be involved in a theoretical new version. Anyone with experience using the ChatGPT spinoffs won't find it too surprising to see how Bing responds with a comprehensive list of the major players and their role in the game, especially given the slew of community-led Elder Scrolls fansites presumably stockpiling this info. Still, inspiration strikes.
Asking Bing Chat to generate a text-based, choose-your-own-adventure game set in Skyrim, the AI assistant flourishes its creative flair and sets the scene of a new adventurer finding their way around the fantasy city of Whiterun. I'm given a list of potential directions to travel with hints as to what I might find at the end of each road, some appearing more dangerous than others. Oh boy!
Alongside descriptions of wooden bridges across flowing rivers, Bing paints the proverbial picture as we navigate through inns and taverns filled with bounty hunters and villagers seeking help from a noble adventure through a simple reply consisting of nothing more than a number. I rip down a poster from a nearby signpost offering a reward to clear out a group of bandits hunkered down in a nearby cave. I can hear the Skyrim soundtrack. It's playing on Spotify.
Deciding to try and sneak past a group of guards posted at the entrance of the bandit cave, I channeled my inner stealth archer and prepared for the intense combat that awaited me inside. Wondering what sort of thrilling options Bing might offer me in the upcoming tunnels, vividly described with a smell of blood and rot, I choose my following action and discover the worst part of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Bing Chat (the game I just invented.)
At the ninth prompt, Bing Chat gives up. It wants to change to a different topic, which is a polite way for an AI bot to tell you that you've exhausted your free prompts for this conversation. The supposed fifteen maximum replies are inaccessible due to the nature of this open-ended game format, Bing explains. Multiple answers are needed to continue, and I've hit the limit; it can't offer me more.
So ends my short adventure. Who knows what happened to my character in that dimly-lit bandit cave? They'll never have the chance to walk into an Imperial ambush or make friends in Rorikstead, that's for sure. Suddenly I feel like that 'Skyrim Very Special Edition' for Amazon's Alexa smart speaker such wasn't a goofy idea after all.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Bing Chat will increase its prompt limit soon because I want to keep playing imaginary adventures inspired by more than just Skyrim, the game Bethesda released on every platform (except this one.) In the meantime, you can use Microsoft's AI assistant to help you discover and create the best-ever PC mods for The Elder Scrolls and various other games.