ChatGPT is Coming to the World’s Creepiest Robot Dog
A match made in AI heaven?
If you thought Boston Dynamics’ robot “dog” couldn’t get any creepier, well... Happy Halloween. The robotics company behind shockingly agile humanoids like Atlas has made the outrageous, but obvious decision to add ChatGPT to its Spot robot dog.
That integration with ChatGPT also brings two other creepy developments: programmable personalities and a fake moving mouth. Yikes.
This is only an experiment from Boston Dynamics at the moment, but one with a lot of potential. A handful of companies already use Spot, like National Grid, BP, and even the NYPD. Adding ChatGPT would only provide another layer of usefulness, or creepiness depending on who you ask.
To achieve a talking interactive robot dog, Boston Dynamics added a Bluetooth speaker and a microphone to Spot’s body. Then, an arm attachment with a camera is slapped on to resemble a neck and head. Even freakier, the gripper hand can move up and down to mimic a talking mouth. , The goofy costume design is up to you.
Internally, the upgraded Spot runs OpenAI’s latest model, GPT-4, along with the Visual Question Answering datasets and speech-to-text software, to make dialogue with people feel realistic. With the “Hey, Spot!” wake word, the robot dog will respond to questions while it runs its programmed task —in this early case, being a tour guide. To add to the uncanny valley effect, the talking Spot can detect where the nearest person is and turn to them while speaking.
MORE REALISTIC ROBOTS
Boston Dynamics didn’t detail what its future plans are with this upgraded Spot, but it did note that its robots and artificial intelligence are a great match, so maybe we’ll see more of this kind of thing in the future. It doesn’t seem like the company will make this add-on available anytime soon, but Spot is still expensive at roughly $75,000.
Even though Boston Dynamics isn’t saying what it will do with a more advanced Spot, it’s not hard to see the possibilities — tour guides, customer service, maybe even a personal companion. Whether people want to interact with a talking robot dog, however, is a whole different story.