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Star Trek Bridge Crew Adding IBM Watson’s VR Speech Sandbox

Many a Star Trek fan would love to stand on the bridge of the Enterprise, and Ubisoft is going to offer just that using virtual reality. Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a VR game that puts you and your friends on the bridge, and it's an experience set to be enhanced thanks to IBM's Watson.

Bridge Crew is launching on May 30 with support for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive. Publisher Ubisoft announced earlier this week that following the launch an experimental Beta period in the Summer will utilize Watson to help with natural language interactions with virtual Starfleet crew members.


IBM's Watson is a question answering computer with a particular talent for natural language. IBM enhanced Watson with the development of a VR Speech Sandbox, allowing for voice command and speech recognition to be integrated into various virtual reality projects. Bridge Crew will certainly be a good testing ground for the system.

The addition of Watson should bring AI characters in the game much closer to real humans in terms of reactions and their ability to carry out tasks. It may even be good enough that in the heat of the action you forget which characters on the bridge with you are real friends, and which are artificial.

The integration work is being carried out by Star Trek: Bridge Crew developer Red Storm Entertainment. David Votypka, Sr. Creative Director there, commented "We have been eager to find the right way to use interactive speech to tap into the more immersive and interactive experiences that VR offers … Watson gives Captains in Star Trek: Bridge Crew the ability to issue commands to non-player crew members in the same way they do with a human crew; by using their voice."

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