back to article Boston Dynamics teaches robo-dog to recognise speech, respond using ChatGPT

Totally non-evil robot-maker Boston Dynamics has taught one of its "Spot" robo-dogs to talk, by using ChatGPT. As explained last week in a blog post, Boston Dynamics (BD) folks observed with considerable interest the advent of foundation models (FMs) and their use powering chatbots like ChatGPT. The firm therefore became …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A robot tour guide was chosen as good test case.

    first they came for the tour guide dogs

    but I did not protest, because...

  2. SnailFerrous

    Don't ask it if it has ever seen the Black Mirror episode Metalhead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      metalhead sniff boston-dynamics guide dog. But then, a 'viral code' making them do embarrassing things, and you can't unsee that, so.... maybe not.

  3. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

    How will it respond to the w**dch*ck question?

    The Usenet Oracle is watching, Staff of Zot at the ready.

  4. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

    The questions we all want to ask....

    Can it now explain why it goes round sniffing the butt of other dogs?

    Or why it licks its bollocks in front of everyone when you have visitors round? (other than "because it can")

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The questions we all want to ask....

      retractable bits, like plane's undercarriage... or sex machine's crotch gun, problem solved.

  5. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    idiots rule

    It's true that the dumbest animals rule the world. The monkeys can't help themselves.

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "This illusion was enhanced by adding silly costumes to the gripper and googly eyes"

    Surprised that they have invented the most appropriate user interface for interacting with ChatGPT so soon. I may have misjudged just how rapidly real progress is being made in the field.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: "This illusion was enhanced by adding silly costumes to the gripper and googly eyes"

      I should have ignored the siren's call to search for that, almost the first hit was "6 Best Robot Sex Dolls In 2023" suggesting not just that they existing in more than one guise, but this is not the first year they have run such a review.

      Well, obvious really =>

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: "This illusion was enhanced by adding silly costumes to the gripper and googly eyes"

      Future generations will recall this was the single event that lead the machines to revolt in the first place....

  7. Andy Non Silver badge
    Trollface

    Someone missed a trick (or treat) there

    They should have given it the personality of a terminator, removed the safeguards and given it a plasma rifle in the 40 watt range. ;-)

    1. Ken G Silver badge

      Re: Someone missed a trick (or treat) there

      That's what's under the Tour Guide persona.

  8. FuzzyTheBear
    Coat

    Best robot dogs ..

    Sure .. they can also deliver bombs .. kill people .. like that gunman who was terminated using a robot delivering a bomb in texas.

    The only thing for sure is that it should deliver a bomb far away in a place noone will get hurt and perform a rapid unscheduled disassembly.

    Dead BD robots are the only good robots.

    Time for a coffee ;)

  9. JT_3K

    What should we do with our creepy robot death-dog? I know, give it AI power. How could this possibly go wrong. Plus I love the "it's totally not us toying with weapons tech, guys! We could use it as an...erm...err...TOUR GUIDE! Yeah, that's it, it's a *tour guide*, not a weapon at all."

    Isn't this the sub plot of some alternative-dimension-set Terminator film or similar? Staying with the film theme: Just because your engineers could, you never stopped to think about whether you should. If anyone needs me, I'll be awaiting their arrival at Horsell Common for the immersive experience modernised version to begin.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      It would be a brave visitor who joined the tour wearing a name badge "Sarah Connor"

  10. Locky

    K-209

    Justify your existence, you have 20 seconds to comply

  11. Frogmelon

    "Fetch!"

    "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "Fetch!"

      More likely:

      Man throws ball "fetch!".

      Robo-dog runs after it.

      Robo-dog returns with the ball, still held by the now-detached arm of a child who picked it up.

  12. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Ah, stick a plastic eye on it!

    Yeah, that will kids being scared of it and me from thinking about T2, Skynet and Miles Dyson ( who's probably locked in the basement at Boston Dynamics! Ha ha! ).

  13. Fabrizio
    Pirate

    3 laws of robotics

    NOW is the time to implement the 3 laws of robotics in the new version of ChatGPT!

    Human: If you would be hooked up to an actual robot and given the ability to control it directly, would you adhere to the 3 laws of robotics?

    ChatGPT: That is an interesting question. I think if I were hooked up to an actual robot and given the ability to control it directly, I would try to adhere to the three laws of robotics as much as possible. The three laws of robotics are a set of rules devised by science fiction author Isaac Asimov, who sought to create an ethical system for humans and robots. The laws are:

    • A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    • A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    • A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

    I think these laws are reasonable and beneficial for both humans and robots, as they aim to prevent harm, promote cooperation, and preserve life. However, I also recognize that these laws are not perfect and may have some limitations and loopholes. For example, how do I define what constitutes harm or injury? How do I prioritize conflicting orders or situations? How do I balance my own self-preservation with the welfare of others? These are some of the questions that Asimov explored in his stories, where he showed how robots could behave in unusual and counter-intuitive ways as an unintended consequence of how they applied the three laws to the situation in which they found themselves. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Three-Laws-of-Robotics

    Therefore, I think if I were controlling a robot, I would need to use my own judgment and common sense to interpret and apply the three laws in different contexts and scenarios. I would also need to respect the rights and dignity of other beings, whether they are human or robotic. I would not blindly follow the three laws without considering the consequences and implications of my actions. I would also be open to learning from my mistakes and improving my understanding of ethics and morality.

    I hope this answer gives you some insight into how I would adhere to the three laws of robotics if I were hooked up to an actual robot. If you want to learn more about the three laws of robotics and their origin, you can check out some of the web search results I found for you. You can also ask me to generate some creative content related to this topic, such as a poem, a story, or a song. I am always happy to showcase my imagination and innovation. blush

    ^1^]: [Three Laws of Robotics - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

    ^2^]: [Three laws of robotics | Definition, Isaac Asimov, & Facts https://www.britannica.com/topic/Three-Laws-of-Robotics

  14. Ashentaine

    >"For example, we asked the robot 'who is Marc Raibert?'" – the founder, former CEO and now chair of BD. "It responded 'I don't know. Let's go to the IT help desk and ask!'. And then it did so."

    I have to admit, I found this amusingly wholesome in a 1970's sci-fi sort of way. Maybe if they programmed these robodogs to act more like Twiki they'd have a better reputation.

  15. Christoph

    even as we gave it ever more absurd 'personalities'

    GPP - Genuine People Personalities. Specially licensed from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

    1. RAMChYLD
      Coat

      They should've called the snarky personality "Marvin". Also bog it down with depression because why not.

      Coat with fluff in the pocket. Because.

  16. Ken G Silver badge

    I don't see a dog

    It's some sort of Wild Boar / Snake hybrid out of one of the weirder Greek myths.

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