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AI Character Challenge: Sherlock Holmes

Inworld Team
February 09, 2023
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The game is afoot!

You likely already know what and who we're talking about with just those four words. Sherlock Holmes, the original consulting detective, is, after all, an iconic figure. Created by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, Holmes was an instant smash as a character after making his debut in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887, setting Victorian London ablaze with his adventures.

Almost 100 years later, the final Sherlock story authored by Conan-Doyle has passed into public domain. With that, any Holmes-related content can be created by anyone. That made the master sleuth a perfect candidate for our first ever community-led Character Challenge: make an AI version of Sherlock Holmes!

We challenged the members of our Discord to create their own version of Sherlock Holmes in Inworld Studio and share him with us. We didn’t expect to get anything more than an Inworld character with a shareable link as part of the submissions, but as you will see, there’s more to this case than meets the eye!

Entry 1: The Mystery of the Fruitcake Murder

First, Peter Hammond stepped up to provide a Sherlock Holmes that was quickly summoned to solve The Mystery of the Fruitcake Murder.

AI Sherlock Holmes: Tell me what you know about the incident and we can work together to solve this mystery.

Inworld User: Well. A man was murdered. The murder weapon appeared to be a piece of cake.

AI Sherlock Holmes: A piece of cake? How intriguing! It seems that we have a unique case on our hands. Could you provide me with further details? Could you tell me the exact type of cake that was used and the circumstances surrounding the murder?

Inworld User: It was a fruitcake. Packed solid.

AI Sherlock Holmes: Hmm, so the killer had to have been quite strong to wield such an object! Fascinating. Could you please elaborate on the situation? Was the victim known to have any enemies or conflicts that may have led to this?

Inworld User: I believe he wasn't a fan of fruitcake. Or the cake's baker.

AI Sherlock Holmes: How interesting! It appears that we may have stumbled upon a motive. The baker may have had it out for the poor fellow. We should investigate further to see if there is more to the story.

One limitation Peter pointed out was that Sherlock’s iconic deerstalker hat wasn’t available as an accessory in Ready Player Me, the provider of the avatar system we make available to users. To compensate, he generated an AI vision of Sherlock that was a bit more Cyborg Holmes than Sherlock, but close enough.

That’s a good reminder that Inworld’s characters can be integrated into Unity, Unreal or other game code, where you can decide for yourself exactly what your avatars will look like.

Entry 2: The Case of the Marble Statue

That is a convenient trail of clues to our next entry: Sherlock Holmes by Discord member Yolan, who also goes by Aaron. Having already impressed us with his integration of Inworld into a variety of Unity projects, Aaron made his Sherlock Holmes appear in full deerstalker regalia and in an era-appropriate setting. Indubitable!

Not content with that first appearance, Aaron followed a few days later with another video, this time discussing a murder mystery with Holmes. Behold The Case of the Marble Statue!

Over five minutes of conversation Aaron improvised the details of a murder case, and Holmes followed along, logically building on the provided information. Elementary? Not with traditional development tools, but with Inworld, the AI did a splendid job.

Entry 3: Moriarty’s Return

Which brings us to the final suspect - I mean, final entrant in our Character Challenge. Kigol went in a different direction than Aaron, almost as if we planned it (we didn’t) by integrating his Sherlock Holmes into Unreal Engine.

Moriarty, eh? I think I sense a new Inworld character opportunity.

Whodunnit? Inworld AI

As you can tell from Aaron and Kigol’s videos, Inworld characters are able to respond in real-time to your voice, with response times often indistinguishable from human speech. All of this helps to further your interaction with the AI character you’re creating. Add in realistic avatars like Kigol’s use of Unreal MetaHumans, and you have something superlative, as Holmes might say!

For assisting Holmes with his caseload, our community members bagged themselves some Inworld swag and, of course, the gratitude of the members of Her Majesty’s Realm for re-creating their hero in modern AI form.

We’ll have more Character Challenges in the future - join our Discord or drop by our forums to find them. Until then, check out the Sherlock Holmes characters linked above to chat with them yourself and of course, create your very own Sherlock Holmes - or anything else you can imagine - in Inworld Studio.

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