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People can now engage in a back-and-forth voice conversation with ChatGPT thanks to new feature

Users can verbally request a bedtime story for the family, or even talk to it to settle a dinner table debate.

People can now engage in a back-and-forth voice conversation with ChatGPT thanks to new feature
Cover Image Source: OpenAI

People can now have conversations with startup OpenAI's ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. OpenAI announced that one of the latest features to come out will help users engage in a back-and-forth voice conversation with ChatGPT. The new voice feature seems similar to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri voice assistants, reports CNN.


In a company blog post released on Monday (September 25, 2023), the startup explained that the feature can be used on the go and even to “request a bedtime story for your family, or settle a dinner table debate.” The post elaborated: "The new voice capability is powered by a new text-to-speech model, capable of generating human-like audio from just text and a few seconds of sample speech. We collaborated with professional voice actors to create each of the voices. We also use Whisper, our open-source speech recognition system, to transcribe your spoken words into text."

OpenAI also shared a demo showing how the new update works. In the demonstration, a user asks ChatGPT to come up with a story about “the super-duper sunflower hedgehog named Larry.” And it does just that, narrating the story out loud, even able to answer questions like, “What was his house like?” and “Who is his best friend?”


Another feature that's also coming out is one that lets the bot respond to prompts featuring an image. "Snap a picture of a landmark while traveling and have a live conversation about what’s interesting about it. When you’re home, snap pictures of your fridge and pantry to figure out what’s for dinner (and ask follow-up questions for a step-by-step recipe). After dinner, help your child with a math problem by taking a photo, circling the problem set, and having it share hints with both of you," the company explained in the blog post. The voice and images feature in ChatGPT will be available to Plus and Enterprise users over the next two weeks.


While many are skeptical about the rise of AI technology, there have also been quite a few success stories including the one where a mother was finally able to find the right diagnosis for her son's pain through the chatbot. The mother shared how her last resort, ChatGPT, finally gave her the answer 17 specialists failed to when it came to her son's pain. The mother, Courtney—who preferred not to use her last name to protect her family’s privacy—was beyond distressed for three years because no matter how many specialists she took her son to, they could not figure out what was wrong with him. He was progressively getting worse, and in a moment of desperation, she took the help of Chat GPT, which miraculously gave her the answer that she needed. All of this began when their family nanny informed her that there was something wrong with her son. Courtney said, “I have to give [Alex] Motrin every day, or he has these gigantic meltdowns.”

Representative Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels | Keira Burton, (R) Pexels | Vlada Karpovich
Representative Image Source: (L) Pexels | Keira Burton, (R) Pexels | Vlada Karpovich

His first issue came to light when he began having problems chewing things. Thinking that he might have a problem with his molars or cavities, the parents took him to a dentist. Unfortunately, this appointment with the dentist was only the beginning, as problems kept piling on, resulting in a visit with 17 doctors of different specialties. It was devastating for the family. Courtney described her son's situation to TODAY: “Our sweet personality... (child) is dissolving into this tantrum-ing crazy person that didn’t exist the rest of the time”.

Representative Image Source: Pexels/ Photo by Keira Burton
Representative Image Source: Pexels/ Photo by Keira Burton

After suffering a number of symptoms including headaches and sleeping issues, Alex's mom decided to take the help of Chat GPT on a whim and surprisingly received a definitive answer: Tethered cord syndrome. This disorder affects the attachments between the tissues that limit the movement of the spinal cord. It leads to an abnormal stretching in the spinal cord. Courtney quickly found a specialist, who confirmed the condition. The confirmation was an emotional moment for the mother as she finally knew which path to take and exactly how she needed to help her son.


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