London-based startup Carter has raised £1.7m in pre-seed capital to bring conversational artificial intelligence (AI) to background video game characters.
Carter is targeting developers, who can use the startup’s API to build non-playable characters (NPCs) for their games. The company claims its AI can generate more realistic interactions between the human player and virtual characters.
In a statement, Carter’s founder, Danial Ali, said: “We’ve all seen these incredibly meaningful human-to-machine relationships on screens growing up – ‘JARVIS and Tony Stark’, ‘C3PO and Luke Skywalker’ and ‘Samantha and Theodore’ to name a few.”
Ali added: “Everybody on earth should have access to the unconditional love and friendship that human-to-machine companionship can provide – putting the right tools in the hands of engineers is essential to achieve this.”
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Ali and Huw Prosser founded Carter in April. Prosser has existing experience in the AI field, previously founding the business automation software company Blooware.
Carter’s pre-seed was led by Play Ventures, with further participation from Connect Ventures, GFR Fund, Chris Lee, Affan Butt, Jas Purewal, Rupert Loman and Steve Chard.
Carter will use the pre-seed money to develop its AI technology for gaming as well as for AR and VR.
Last month UK game studio Landmark raised £4m in seed funding for its debut title.