Exploring AI Town: Building Your Own Virtual Civilization

Venture capital firm a16z, known for its investments in generative AI for games, has introduced the world to “AI Town,” an open-source project available on GitHub. With AI Town, developers and enthusiasts can create their own unique AI civilization, utilizing a language model to simulate social interactions and decision-making within a virtual world.

The project, inspired by the research paper Smallville published by researchers from Google and Stanford, aims to provide a Sims-like experience where AI agents can pursue their motives and develop complex behaviors. In AI Town, each character possesses an occupation, personality, and relationships with other characters, setting the stage for a dynamic and interactive environment.

The “starter kit” offered by AI Town allows for the implementation of global states, integrating various aspects such as locations, activities, and health stats. Furthermore, agents within the virtual world can interact with one another, enabling transactions and exchanges. For example, a character can give another character an apple, resulting in a decrease in the giver’s apple count. This attention to detail ensures the coherence and realism of the simulated civilization.

To enhance the platform, AI Town employs a combination of tools and technologies. OpenAI’s language model powers the core functionality, while Pinecone serves as the vector database and Convex functions as the game engine and database. Additionally, Replicate and Fal.ai contribute to the creation of pixel graphics used throughout the game.

The development team behind AI Town hopes that other developers will take the opportunity to build upon the starter kit and explore the potential of the platform further. Released under the MIT License, the project welcomes adaptation, distribution, and commercial use. The code is readily available on GitHub, and a demo of AI Town can be accessed via the provided link. For further collaboration and discussion, interested parties are encouraged to join the project’s Discord community.


Q: What is AI Town?
AI Town is an open-source project that enables users to build and simulate their own AI civilization within a virtual world, using a language model to simulate social interactions and decision-making.

Q: Which technologies are used in AI Town?
AI Town utilizes OpenAI’s language model, Pinecone as the vector database, Convex as the game engine and database, and Replicate and Fal.ai for pixel graphics.

Q: Can AI Town be customized and distributed?
Yes, AI Town is released under the MIT License, allowing for adaptation, distribution, and commercial use.

Q: Where can I find the code and demo of AI Town?
The code is available on GitHub, and a demo of AI Town can be accessed via the provided link.

Q: Is there a community for AI Town?
Yes, interested individuals can join the AI Town Discord community for collaboration and discussion.

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