ChatGPT injected into Boston Dynamics’ Spot

Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot has been upgraded with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s speech function, allowing the robot dog to turn complex data into something humans can understand.

Spot was equipped with ChatGPT and Google’s text-to-speech AI. The ultimate goal is to create a robot that can promptly tell humans things like what the next robot’s mission involves or how much juice its battery has left.

In a video demonstration from AI expert Santiago Valdarrama, researchers at Levatas, an AI company working with robot manufacturer Boston Dynamics, demonstrate Spot updating them on its upcoming tasks and status.

ChatGPT’s integration could allow for better communication between humans and robot dogs. According Valdarrama, every mission the robot embarks on uses “miles-long, hard-to-understand configuration files” only highly specialized personnel can unwrap.

“At the end of each mission, the robots capture a ton of data. There’s no simple way to query all of it on demand. That’s where ChatGPT comes in. We show it the configuration files and the mission results. We then ask questions using that context,” Valdarrama said on Twitter.

Together with an injection of ChatGPT, Spot was given Google’s speech-to-text capabilities, allowing the robot dog to provide humans with sound-based answers.

“Battery level is currently at 53%,” Spot told Valdarrama in the demonstration video.

More importantly, Spot could tell the researchers what its last mission was and what part of the building it had previously been in. Researchers also demonstrated they could make the robot tell them if it was standing or not, and even ask Spot to go away via voice command – telling it “you’re crowding my space.”

“We can now ask the robots about past and future missions and get an answer in real-time. ChatGPT interprets the question, parses the files, and formulates the answer,” Valdarrama said.

The capability to interact with Spot could open many practical venues for exploration. For example, robots could be employed in dangerous missions requiring some autonomy, such as clearing out explosives or inspecting radioactive environments.

While humanoid robots are a decade or more away, current capabilities will allow using Spot-like robots for repetitive tasks such as reading and digitizing a facility with 100,000 analog gauges, Daniel Bruce, chief product officer for Levatas, told Cybernews in an earlier interview.

Some, however, fear that robot dogs could be misused against humans. For example, last year, Twitter user Sean Chiplock shared a video of someone in Russia firing a gun from a Chinese-made quadruped robot.

Fears that robot dogs will be used against humans have been vocal for several years. Most notably, a cult anthology TV series Black Mirror dedicated a whole episode, Metalhead, to the device in 2017.

The plot follows a group of humans hunted by a robot dog. Series creator Charlie Brooker said the inspiration for the episode came after he saw one of Boston Dynamics’ promotional videos.

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