business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Wall Street Journal technology columnist Joanna Stern writes that "OpenAI’s popular chatbot is speaking up - literally. The company on Monday announced an update to its iOS and Android apps that will allow the artificially intelligent bot to talk out loud in five different voices. I’ve been doing a lot of talking with ChatGPT over the past few days, and testing another new tool that lets the bot respond to images you show it. 

"So what’s it like?

"Think Siri or Alexa except…not. The natural voice, the conversational tone and the eloquent answers are almost indistinguishable from a human at times. Remember 'Her'? The movie where Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an AI operating system that’s really a faceless Scarlett Johansson? That’s the vibe I’m talking about … The new photo-comprehension tool also makes the bot more interactive. You can snap a shot and ask ChatGPT questions about it … The image and voice features will be available over the next few weeks for those who subscribe to ChatGPT Plus for $20 a month.

"In essence, OpenAI is giving its chatbot a mouth and eyes. I’ve been running both features through tests - a best-friend chat, plumbing repairs, games. It’s all very cool and…creepy."

How creepy?  Well, Stern basically suggests that you'll have two reactions to the technology.

  1. Holy crap! This is the future of communicating with computers that sci-fi writers promised us.
  1. I’m building an underground bunker and stockpiling toilet paper and granola bars. 

Yikes.  I feel like I've seen this movie, and it never ends well.