IBM’s Watson first made headlines in 2011 when it was on the “Jeopardy” TV game show, and now it is boldly going to the final frontier, with the new Sony PlayStation virtual reality game “Star Trek: Bridge Crew.” IBM and game developer Ubisoft on May 11 announced that Watson VR Speech Sandbox will enable players to communicate in the new virtual reality game via voice.
Voice control in the fictional Star Trek universe is a core principle, as both Captain Kirk and Captain Picard were able to query the starship Enterprise’s artificial intelligence about operations and status. In Star Trek shows and movies, the voice of the computer has long been that of Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, but that’s not the voice that IBM Watson will bring to “Star Trek: Bridge Crew.”
“Watson speaks in the voices of the Star Trek characters that the wizards at Ubisoft have brought to life in the game,” Joel Horwitz, vice president of the Digital Business Group at IBM, told eWEEK. “Watson isn’t a branded ‘Watson Avatar’ or ‘Computer’ character in the game, but rather it’s a technology underpinning the voice interactions between players and NPCs [non-player characters].”