OpenAI CEO teases voice features ahead of Spring event

Anurag Singh
Sam Altman close up with OpenAI logo next to it

OpenAI is ready to announce new GPT-4 and ChatGPT features today (May 13), but before that, CEO Sam Altman has hinted that voice could be the next big thing in AI.

During the latest episode of the All-In podcast, Sam Altman suggested that voice-based AI systems might provide a glimpse into the future of AI-enabled devices.

Altman said, “I think you’d have to like find some really different interaction paradigm that the technology enables,” when asked what device comes after the iPhone.

Host Jason Calacanis later noted that ChatGPT already has a text-to-speech feature. “We’ll get that better. And I think voice is a hint to whatever the next thing is. Like if you can get voice interaction to be really good, I think that feels like a different way to use a computer,” Altman replied.

Altman corroborates a recent report from The Information, which claims OpenAI is working on a technology that rolls audio, text, and image recognition into one product.

“The technology is another step in OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s quest to ultimately develop a highly responsive AI akin to the virtual assistant in the Spike Jonze film ‘Her,’ and to enable existing voice assistants like Apple’s Siri to be more useful,” reports The Information.

We’ve already seen a lot of voice-based AI products making their way to the market, but they haven’t exactly wowed critics or consumers. Take the Humane AI Pin and the Rabbit R1 for example. These devices launched with a lot of hype but got slammed with bad reviews.

OpenAI will be holding a livestream today (notably, a day before Google I/O, Google’s developer conference). Rumors were swirling that the startup would announce a search engine powered by ChatGPT, or even the next big thing, GPT-5. But Sam Altman shut all these rumors down with a post on X.

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