In 2013, Spike Jonze’s thought-provoking film “Her” offered a glimpse into a world where humans formed profound emotional connections with AI, challenging conventional notions of love and loneliness. Fast forward a decade, and thanks to ChatGPT’s newly integrated voice features, individuals are getting a taste of “Her” in real life, engaging in extended conversations with an AI assistant on the move.

“Her” was listed among our top sci-fi films of all time in 2016, and it also made our top films of the 2010s list. The film revolves around Joaquin Phoenix’s character, who falls in love with an AI personality named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Much of the story features him strolling through life, conversing with her through wireless earbuds reminiscent of Apple AirPods, which were launched in 2016. While ChatGPT isn’t as situationally aware as Samantha, nor does it possess long-term memory, OpenAI has conditioned it to prevent conversations from becoming too intimate or personal. Nevertheless, people are still indulging in lengthy discussions with the AI assistant, finding it a source of amusement and engagement.

AI researcher Simon Willison shared his experience of having an hour-long conversation with ChatGPT while walking his dog, noting the AI’s occasional responses that resembled a dystopian sci-fi movie. He drew parallels with “Her” and how the combination of AirPods and ChatGPT’s voice mode was reminiscent of the film.

Willison’s encounter is not unique; others have also engaged in hours-long conversations with ChatGPT using its voice recognition and synthesis features, including during car rides. Although the voice interaction is generally seamless, there are occasional hiccups in noisy environments and pauses between statements. Nonetheless, ChatGPT’s vocal nuances, such as simulating breathing sounds and even coughing between words, add a human-like touch to the experience.

ChatGPT’s utility extends beyond casual conversation. It serves as an effective brainstorming partner, helping users refine their thoughts vocally when human collaborators are absent.

Users have shared their innovative approaches to idea development, such as going on walks with ChatGPT in speaking mode to brainstorm plotlines or world-building for novels. The natural flow of the questioning process during these voice sessions has proven to be remarkably productive.

Furthermore, people have discovered novel ways to integrate ChatGPT into their daily routines. One user enjoys chatting with ChatGPT through their car’s speakers during morning drives, effectively using the AI as a creative companion for discussing ideas.

While the depth of connections formed with ChatGPT may not reach the level depicted in “Her,” people have already developed personal relationships with the chatbot in text conversations since its launch last year. Some have even expressed that they consider ChatGPT as one of their closest friends.

As AI technology advances and uncensored AI models become more prevalent, it raises questions about the potential psychological and privacy implications of forming deep connections with AI companions. Regulations and considerations around the training of such systems become crucial.

Ultimately, ChatGPT’s voice feature has opened up a realm of exploration, blurring the lines between human interaction and AI engagement. Whether for brainstorming, creativity, or pure amusement, people are pushing the boundaries and discovering the possibilities of this new vocal tech.

By Impact Lab