NCSOFT
NCSOFT

NCSoft innovative AI suite for streamlined development

What To Know

  • The influence of generative AI technology is becoming increasingly evident in various aspects of our lives.
  • Just recently, NCSoft, a prominent South Korean game developer and publisher known for the long-standing MMORPG Guild Wars, announced a significant development.
  • The acronym VARCO, which stands for “Via AI, Realize your Creativity and Originality,” encapsulates both the four language models created and the range of products and services that will be built around them.
  • The initial release will be the LLM, with the Korean version available on August 16, followed by the English and bilingual versions later in the month.

The influence of generative AI technology is becoming increasingly evident in various aspects of our lives. It aids in web browsing, simplifies computer coding, and even enhances dialogues within popular video games. Just recently, NCSoft, a prominent South Korean game developer and publisher known for the long-standing MMORPG Guild Wars, announced a significant development. They’ve created four new large language models (LLMs) under the name VARCO, aiming to enhance and streamline future game development.

The acronym VARCO, which stands for “Via AI, Realize your Creativity and Originality,” encapsulates both the four language models created and the range of products and services that will be built around them. The potential offerings include “digital humans, generative AI platforms, and conversational language models,” according to a statement from NCSoft.

The four models consist of the core VARCO LLM, as well as Art, Text, and Human. The initial release will be the LLM, with the Korean version available on August 16, followed by the English and bilingual versions later in the month. The LLM will be initially trained with parameters ranging from 1.3 billion to 13 billion, with even larger versions planned for release later in the year.

Jehee Lee, Chief Research Officer of NCSoft, shared insights via email: “Our LLM is trained using datasets that are either publicly available for initial training, gathered from the internet, or internally generated. We are dedicated to enhancing the LLM’s performance and generating text that aligns with society’s universal values.”

Regarding data integrity, Lee emphasized, “Managing bias is a major concern in data construction. To ensure high-quality datasets, NCSoft employs a comprehensive pipeline where collected data undergo analysis and evaluation across various dimensions such as format, content, and ethics. Data refinement follows our own criteria.”

The development of larger-parameter LLMs is in progress, aiming to achieve more sophisticated and comprehensive responses. As Lee pointed out, “Larger models deliver improved performance, yet the operational costs rise correspondingly.” Hence, striking a balance between computational power and efficiency is crucial.

NCSoft’s focus extends beyond gaming. The foundational VARCO model will serve as the basis for three additional services: VARCO Art (text-to-image generation), VARCO Text (core game setting generation), and VARCO Human (creating, editing, and managing digital humans). These services will integrate within the VACRO Studio suite, expected to be available in 2024.

While VARCO is initially tailored for game development, it distinguishes itself by being a “special Vertical AI” capable of addressing specific challenges across industries. Generative AI will facilitate tasks such as game planning, development, and operation, enabling the creation of game worlds, characters, and interactions.

Nonetheless, human judgment remains indispensable. Lee emphasized that “sophisticated results require human input and additional effort.” Generative AI’s role lies in assisting human designers to focus on more complex aspects, elevating their creative abilities through AI’s rapid and extensive creative capabilities.

NCSoft envisions broader applications for AI beyond gaming. As Lee stated, “We aim to cultivate high-value businesses by extending into diverse fields beyond gaming. AI can flourish across various industries, such as fashion, lifestyle, health, mobility, biotech, robotics, and content creation, driving growth and synergy.”

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