The canine-inspired robot named Spot, crafted by tech firm Boston Dynamics, has gained a voice courtesy of ChatGPT. In a recent YouTube video unveiled last Thursday, the company demonstrated the integration of the renowned language model with Spot, enabling the robot to converse.
The video, spanning eight minutes, opens with Spot adorned with animated eyes and a tiny hat, exhibiting a “Fancy Butler” demeanor. Yet another character dubbed the “Precious Metal Cowgirl,” portrays Spot donning a petite cowboy hat, conversing about gold exploration in a distinctly feminine tone.
The robot even spontaneously crafts a haiku, and yes, that’s an intended play on words. Further avatars exhibit Spot embodying an “Enthusiastic Travel Guide Robot” and a “Roaring Twenties Archaeologist,” each distinctly accessorized with a hat.
As with most Boston Dynamics showcases, the video intends to highlight the robot’s diverse applications. However, as is typical following the introduction of new functionalities, feedback is varied. Tech enthusiasts have lauded the firm’s innovative stride.
Although initial criticisms are minimal, such demonstrations often face skepticism as they gain traction online. Boston Dynamics portrays its robots as human-protective innovations. However, apprehensions linger about the potential misuse of such machines against people. Another robotics firm has previously equipped a robot dog with a sniper rifle.
In 2021, after facing public opposition, the New York Police Department had to relinquish its weaponless robotic canine. It remains to be seen if Boston Dynamics’ recent reveal will draw comparisons to dystopian sci-fi tales in the ensuing period, or if society has become more accepting of robotic progress.