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Someone Gave ChatGPT a Voice

It’s been almost a year since ChatGPT was introduced to the world. Open AI, the San Francisco-based maker of ChatGPT, introduced a paradigm shift that has since disrupted several industries. Media and content creation services are threatened by new AI platforms, as are coders and legal assistants. Similarly, the use of ChatGPT (and other platforms like it) in schools threatens educational integrity. But with Pandora’s box now open, it seems the innovations to these platforms are occurring fast and furious. Recently, Open AI announced that users would soon be talking with ChatGPT. This new feature comes with many new opportunities as well as risks. Thus, it’s worth looking at these new AI bots and what that will mean for society.

a cartoon talking with ChatGPT
Talking with ChatGPT is all fun and games until it tells you to set your neighbor’s lawn on fire.

Being able to interact with digital technologies by voice isn’t something that’s new. After all, we have had Alexa and Siri to speak with from some time. But unlike these existing voice platforms, new AI bots have a much more robust language model. Plus, they have the ability to respond in a more fluid manner with access to a vast amount of Internet data. For these reasons, talking with ChatGPT will be nothing like asking Siri for directions. This means the role of AI in our everyday lives is about to expand significantly. And how its use is regulated will become increasingly important.

The Voice Potential of New AI Bots

There are several AI platforms available today that have been introduced over the last year. In addition to ChatGPT, Microsoft added their own AI tool to their Bing Internet search engines. Likewise, Google introduced Bard as its AI platform in March. And of course, China’s Baid launched Ernie that failed to meet expectations. Regardless, several such AI instruments are available today, and each can answer complex questions, write poems, and even code. But until now, none had the ability to verbally interact with users, which is what new AI bots will do. OpenAI is the first promoting the opportunity in talking with ChatGPT, and others will certainly follow.

(The dumb stuff we’ve been writing on the Internet for years has been feeding AI chatbots–read more in this Bold story.)

The reason talking with Chat GPT is such a big deal is because it uses a different language model than Siri or Alexa. These older bots answered users based on a massive library of database responses to various questions. However, new AI bots utilize a Large Language Model (LLM) that can generate language on its own. By tapping into massive amounts of Internet text, this allows responses “on-the-fly” that are reactive to questions and prompts. In addition, the voices from which users can select are much more natural than prior models. Though they are still robotic in nature, intonations and pacing of speech are improving. This means that new AI bots will be much easier to use via voice, providing many new opportunities. Rather than having to type or text in information, verbal cues will provide rapid, comprehensive responses.

Rising Competition in the Field

In addition to the AI platforms already mentioned, several others do currently exist. However, OpenAI is currently leading the way with new features to its ChatGPT. In addition to talking with ChatGPT, OpenAI has advanced its Dall-E feature allowing users to create images from text descriptions. OpenAI has also advanced to its GPT-4 platform, which allows its platform to interpret visual images. For example, an image of an open refrigerator can be interpreted based on contents to collect potential recipe options. It can even visually capture a math problem, analyze it, and solve it. The potential applications of image analysis are very extensive. And combined with new AI bots voice capacities, the applications are seemingly endless.

(Lost track of all the AI chatbot services? Bold has just the breakdown you need.)

While OpenAI is pushing the envelope, it certainly doesn’t mean others are standing idly by. Google and Microsoft are actively advancing their platforms, and it is expected they too will soon have new AI bots. Apple has yet to announce its plans, but it is developing new applications using LLM as well. And even Amazon is incorporating LLM features into Alexa’s capabilities. This would imply Amazon saw the writing on the wall as OpenAI introduced its talking with ChatGPT feature. While the playing field may not be as large in the future as it is today, several major players will likely exist. OpenAI simply appears to be the first to market and the one taking the early lead.

a woman rapping with a new AI bots
There are so many new AI bots, and now they can talk? Soon we won’t need humans anymore!

Too Much, Too Fast?

As with any rapidly advancing technology, it takes time for societies to catch up. This was certainly the case with the Internet and social media. And today, it would appear that the use of new AI bots may be developing at an even faster pace. With that in mind, there are some worries about these new features being granted to AI platforms. While talking to ChatGPT may not dramatically affect existing use, image recognition does. For example, will these devices be used to help student cheat in math class? Or will such platforms simply become new tools whose use will need to be taught within educational systems. This is difficult when we don’t have a clear picture how they’ll be used routinely in the near future.

One of the major concerns about image recognition and analysis of these new AI platforms relates to privacy. ChatGPT and other AI tools work on iPhones, iPads, and Android systems. Thus, any mobile device with these new AI bots can be utilized to identify strangers. This has noted implications in terms of identity theft and privacy rights violations. And it also potentially violates existing privacy protection laws, such as those in Europe. This summer, Italy filed suit against ChatGPT for using Internet-based data of Italian citizens without their permission. These are the kind of legal issues with AI that has not been worked out as of yet. In other words, the technologies including taking with ChatGPT are emerging faster than policies can be formed.

Major Social Shifts Ahead

There are definitely many unknowns when it comes to the use of AI in our everyday lives. But it’s clear with advances in new AI bots that its use will become easier and easier. If talking with ChatGPT becomes as simple as dialogue with a friend, users will have vast amounts of information available. Of course, AI platforms can be prone to mistakes, but nonetheless, the implications are enormous. Such shifts could mean significant job displacements in some sectors. It could also mean how we approach education, business, and research changes overnight. It may even mean the tech giants of today could be left behind tomorrow. Much is not yet known, but the advances being made by companies like Open AI are impressive. Major changes are coming, and they’re likely to be quite significant.

 

Did you catch Bold Business’ series on AI deepfake technology? Dig into one of the stories here!