ChatGPT gained the ability to listen and talk back in September, allowing users to speak with generative AI. Soon, ChatGPT could replace digital assistants like Siri and Google Assistant altogether.
In an OpenAI update from Dec. 21, ChatGPT now has a new feature (disabled by default but can be turned on) that would allow it to take over as your phone’s voice assistant outside of the ChatGPT app, reported Android Authority on Thursday.
When OpenAI released ChatGPT’s voice assistant, it was a wake-up call that generative AI was about to make digital assistants way smarter in 2024. However, OpenAI’s latest update shows that ChatGPT may actually replace Siri and Google Assistant sooner than we thought. Digital assistants have long defaulted to the one your phone manufacturer makes, but ChatGPT could be threatening that with its new feature.
OpenAI did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
When manually turned on, the feature reportedly looks a lot like Google Assistant or Siri, showing OpenAI’s swirling icon in a corner of your screen when outside of the ChatGPT app. The option appears to not be fully functional yet, and Android Authority was unable to speak with the assistant outside of ChatGPT’s app. The new activity shows up as, com.openai.voice.assistant.AssistantActivity, in ChatGPT’s code, and reportedly includes many of the declarations required to become a default digital assistant. It’s not done yet, but it appears to hint at what OpenAI’s app could one day become.
OpenAI has yet to officially announce this feature, but the company’s CEO, Sam Altman, has said numerous times how AI will change the way we interact with technology. “Eventually, you’ll just ask the computer for what you need and it’ll do all of these tasks for you,” said Altman in November at the company’s DevDay.
There are already several AI hardware products in the works. The Humane AI Pin uses voice technology as a key part of its operating system. Sam Altman and iPhone designer Jony Ive are reportedly working on an AI hardware device combining sleek Apple hardware with OpenAI’s software. Apple is also allegedly planning a major generative AI upgrade for Siri at WWDC 2024, according to Tom’s Guide Friday.
The shift to enable digital assistants with AI could mean that the next AI device is the one in your pocket. Your smartphone could be getting an AI upgrade in the coming years, and a main vehicle for that could be through your digital assistant. ChatGPT’s update may have been an early sign that it’s throwing its hat in the ring to be your assistant.
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