ChatGPT Helps Robot Dog Speak Much More than Just “Woof”


ChatGPT, an AI chatbot developed by robotic AI software developer Levatas, recently took a giant leap forward by being embedded into one of the Spot robot dogs built by Boston Dynamics and being connected to Google’s Text-to-Speech synthetic voice API. This development allows the robot dog to understand and respond to spoken, informally phrased questions and commands as demonstrated in a video posted by machine learning engineer Santiago Valdarrama. During the demonstration, ChatGPT displayed the ability to answer the questions posed to it in regards to its battery level, whether it is standing, and its position relative to the person speaking. Additionally, it was able to process and explain its past and upcoming tasks, which usually involve patrolling factories and server farms for breakdowns or other problems, and gathering a range of environmental data along the way.

The introduction of ChatGPT also brings a more humanized feel to the robot dog as the robotic AI software’s text-to-speech tool defaults to Google’s usual neutral female voice. This combination of features make the ChatGPT-enabled robot dog the perfect solution for quickly and easily extracting data from robots that are typically used to complete automated missions which can be quite lengthy and difficult to understand. Utilizing ChatGPT makes it incredibly easy to query the robot’s data and get an answer in real-time.

OpenAI’s exclusive enterprise partner Microsoft has spoken about how large language models can be incorporated into robots but so far they’ve just done VR tests rather than real-world robots. The response to the video showcases the public’s reaction to the chatbot enabled robot which is understandably concerned due to Boston Dynamics’ robots already having an unnerving presence.

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Not to be outdone, a robotics startup recently announced its own initiative to reward developers with $200,000 to create robots that come with natural language understanding and are able to take on the face and voice of their creators. The applications of this research are numerous, but obviously companies are most interested in the wide range of customer service roles that can be staffed by robots whose appearance and voices make them indistinguishable from their human counterparts. As technology advances, it is becoming increasingly clear that robots are here to stay and their presence will only become more pervasive.

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