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National Library Board, Singapore

Fans of classic book titles now can experience these tales as games using ChatGPT. 

More than 1,000 public domain books — including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea — can be converted into adventure games using generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), said Singapore’s National Library Board (NLB). 

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Public domain titles do not carry any copyright or intellectual property rights typically because their rights have expired.  

Called Playbrary, the gamification initiative allows users to introduce “twists” to the book’s narrative and marries storytelling with digital gameplay, said NLB, which teamed up with creative agency LePub Singapore to develop the application.  

In Playbrary, users can take on the role of Sherlock Holmes and, along with Dr. John Watson, attempt to solve cases together. 

They can convert their book of choice into a game by entering the title in the ChatGPT prompt. 

This initiative to “fuse AI and games” is part of NLB’s campaign efforts to cultivate “good reading habits” and spend time reading and exploring different book genres, the library board said. 

Playbrary currently is free for use and the inventory will be expanded to include more classic titles over the next few months, NLB said. While the feature is available within the free version of ChatGPT 3.5, the library board said the paid ChatGPT subscription service will offer a better gaming experience.

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In addition, the free version of ChatGPT currently does not support graphics and Playbrary users will not be able to convert the entire book into a game. 

NLB CEO Ng Cher Pong said: “This is part of NLB’s ongoing efforts to make GenAI accessible to all. Through the gamification experience of Playbrary, we hope to encourage more Singaporeans to read these classics after playing the game.”

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