In fact, the artificially intelligent D3-O9 is accessible in every guest cabin to speak to. According to ComicBook.com, D3 will evolve as she “listens, remembers, responds, offers advice, and becomes part of the experience and story alongside the guest.”
Dawson Dill, senior R&D Walt Disney Imagineer and creative lead for D3-O9, told ComicBook, “The goal was for this to be a character that you get to know, that changes based on how you interact with her, but also she’s along for the ride as well. So as the events on the Halcyon Starcruiser unfold, those events affect her and how they affect her are made up with the decisions that the guest makes. So from a development perspective, I think it was a fun challenge to bring D3-O9 to life because it was a technology piece. It’s using speech recognition, natural language, understanding, whole bunch of fancy conversational design technology that we’ve been developing.”
“But then you have a narrative component because at the core it’s about a character,” he said. “At the end of the day, you want to go in there and talk to a character and have that character shift and change. And also for us, the interaction is just as important as the words. So, are you betraying D3-O9? Are you trying to get D3-O9 to become your friend? Are you helping her to trick the First Order? Or are you helping the First Order to trick D3? There’s a lot of different ways we wanted to be able to play it and make sure that D3-O9 felt like just another member of the crew.”
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D3-O9 acts as a test for new A.I. technology that Walt Disney Imagineering may use in the future.
“I think Imagineering, traditionally and ever and forever, has always been looking at cool new ways to elevate things,” Dill said. “I think that we see an opportunity with some of this technology to make more personalized connections and have ones that are more also connected to an evolving story. So as you see, more and more immersive storytelling like Galactic Starcruiser, having characters that take different forms and want to engage in those same persistent ways, you’re going to need a platform like this.”
“At the Imagineering R&D group, we’ve been working on this platform and D3-O9 is definitely the first, the limited play test to really put this out there for the first time. But the hope is that this is a platform that we think it can bring a lot of different Disney characters of life in different ways, on different mediums and different platforms. It’s been a long road to get here. We’ve been looking at a lot of this for a while, but this is sort of the first big stepping stone that we’ve put out in the water.”