"It has AI now."
See Spot Speak
As if robotic dogs weren't creepy enough.
A team of programmers just equipped a Boston Dynamics robot dog with OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Text-to-Speech voice modulation, allowing it to literally speak to them and answer their questions.
In a video posted to Twitter, machine learning engineer Santiago Valdarrama showcased how he and a colleague programmed a Spot robot dog to verbally answer system questions with the help of OpenAI's extremely popular tool.
"These robots run automated missions every day," Valdarrama explained in his Twitter thread, noting that each mission includes "miles-long, hard-to-understand configuration files" that only engineers can understand.
"That's where ChatGPT comes in," he continued. "We show it the configuration files and the mission results. We then ask questions using that context. Put that together with a voice-enabled interface, and we have an awesome way to query our data!"
As seen in the video, Spot even adds amusing gestures to its answers, shaking its head to say no or bowing to say yes.
We integrated ChatGPT with our robots.
We had a ton of fun building this!
Read on for the details: pic.twitter.com/DRC2AOF0eU
— Santiago (@svpino) April 25, 2023
Talk Like a Bot
While the interface itself seems pretty harmless, a lot of people who've seen the video are pretty freaked out by it.
"You know that robot dog that triggers lots of 'here come our future overlords' jokes when new videos drop?" Washington Post columnist Philip Bump tweeted. "It has AI now."
In another post, which featured a gif of a humanoid robot wielding a machine gun, one user joked that "one day we will look back and point to this day as a pivotal point," complete with a laughing emoji.
While SpotGPT does feel like it's bringing us one tiny step closer to the robot uprising, integrating the chatbot into robots has always been a part of the plan.
In February, Microsoft, which signed a multi-billion dollar deal with OpenAI, released a paper outlining design principles for ChatGPT integration into robotics.
"We believe that our work is just the start of a shift in how we develop robotics systems," the company's announcement reads, "and we hope to inspire other researchers to jump into this exciting field."
In other words, it was only a matter of time until somebody gave Spot its own voice.
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