AI enthusiasts may soon be able to talk to ChatGPT or similar systems face to interface.
The chatbot’s parent company, OpenAI, is working with a robotics firm to develop bold new robotic prototypes powered by state-of-the-art AI systems.
Photos of the potential humanoid forms have users pondering if they’re looking at the new face of artificial intelligence.
OpenAI recently invested $23.5 million in 1X, a Norway-based engineering and robotics company that says it is “producing androids capable of human-like movements and behaviors.”
“Much like how OpenAI is building digital information manipulation systems (e.g. ChatGPT) by losslessly compressing Internet data, we are building a general-purpose AI for manipulating physical information (atoms),” Eric Jang, 1X’s vice president of AI, declared in a tweet.
One of 1X’s robotic darlings is named EVE, which was initially designed as a research bot before being repurposed as a security droid, reported Fortune.
Her crude digital “smiley face” belies an impressive set of physical abilities, ranging from meticulously packing a box to gently opening a window, as seen in an eye-opening video posted last month.
Think of her as a Japanese ramen droid with the surgical precision of Atlas, Boston Dynamics’ bipedal backflipping robot.
EVE’s fine motor skills are a credit to her manipulation by a VR control and AI, Medium reported.
A robot operator sits at a NASA-esque control center with a motherboard featuring a camera, navigation, and real-time status updates on her automatons.
Due to her precise locomotion, this literal robocop could also moonlight in the labor force, which is already being automated in every sector from restaurants to Amazon warehouses.
“1X is exploring opportunities and applications within retail, logistics and health care with leading customers and partners,” Arne Tonning, a partner at the capital firm Alliance Venture Capital, which invested in the tech, wrote in a Medium post last month.
OpenAI’s funding will also support production of NEO, a mannequin-looking bot that will allow researchers to explore how AI manifests itself in a humanoid form, Medium reported.
One person who is likely not a fan of the ventures? Elon Musk.
The SpaceX boss, who reportedly wanted to take over OpenAI before selling his stake to Microsoft in 2018, recently floated plans to deploy thousands of competing personal servant bots, known as Tesla Bot or Optimus.
At a recent TED Talk, Musk described how the droids could be used in homes to make dinner, mow the lawn and care for elderly people.
They could even become a “buddy” or a “catgirl” sex partner, he claimed.
Competition notwithstanding, the 1X projects and generative AI as a whole could revolutionize the robotics industry by making them less, well, robotic.
“Generative AI is going to be absolutely transformative for the two problems we currently have with robots — that they are quite dumb, and they don’t always understand what we want,” George Strakhov, chief strategy officer at the advertising company DDB EMEA, told the Daily Mail. “Large language models (like GPT-4) are exceptional at complex reasoning.”
He added, “So when robots are powered by LLMs — they will be able to act much more dynamically, respond to the environment changes, plan ahead, etc.”
Strakhov believes that in the future, we will even be able to have naturalistic back-and-forth conversations with the bots.
“And realistic voice synthesis as well as face/emotions synthesis will enable them to communicate with us much more ‘naturally,’ making it comfortable for more people (including old/young) to interface with robots — the same way they interface with other humans,” the strategist predicted.
This new reality could be closer than ever.
Last week, Ameca — an advanced humanoid language bot that uses the same technology as ChatGPT — wowed onlookers by replying to complex commands in various languages while exhibiting human-like mannerisms.
She would pause to think before responding and even flash the appropriate expression for each situation, such as smiling when happy and furrowing her brow when sad.
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