Singapore’s NLB launches AI initiative to transform books into games

Singapore’s National Library Board (NLB) has launched an AI initiative that transforms books into games for interactive reading experience using ChatGPT.

The project – Playbrary uses advanced AI to convert traditional books into interactive and immersive text based adventure games.

These games adhere to the book’s original plot but allow for dynamic interaction, enabling players to influence the story’s course.

NLB’s chief executive officer Ng Cher Pong said the new initiative is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to make Generative AI accessible to all.

“Through the gamification experience of Playbrary, we hope to encourage more Singaporeans to read these classics after playing the game,” he added.

In collaboration with the creative agency LePub and OpenAI, Playbrary has integrated ChatGPT to enable users to engage with these literary adventures directly through the platform.

The partners said Playbrary can turn any book in the public domain with already more than 1,000 classic books, playable at launch.

The AI project doesn’t just adapt the narrative to player choices, but also generates vivid images to accompany the text, crafting a rich, multi-sensory experience, NLB said.

It added that the initiative will serve as an accessible educational tool for dwindling interest in traditional reading among younger generations.

While Playbrary plans to add more classic book titles over the next few months, initially players will be able to play-read selected classic book titles including Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

LePub said it is currently inviting authors and publishers to add their books to the Playbrary.

The company has unveiled plans to onboard new partners to explore emerging technologies to interact with NLB’s resources.

Recently in January, the NLB had also launched many digital initiatives including the StoryGen, a Gen AI prototype for interactive storytelling and Chatbook to converse with a book, generating dialogue based on the book’s contents.

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