In focus

AI isn’t coming for your job, it’s coming for your relationship

Google and OpenAI just unveiled AI chatbots that can see, hear, speak – and even flirt – like humans. With interest in virtual companions surging, Anthony Cuthbertson looks at how our love lives might be about to change forever

Sunday 19 May 2024 06:00 BST
Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Her’
Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Her’ (Warner Bros)

M- Me? The announcement is about me? Well colour me intrigued.” The voice sounded surprised, curious, a little bashful; there was even a hint of vocal fry. It also wasn’t human.

It came from OpenAI’s new flagship chatbot, GPT-4o, during its unveiling on Monday. The new artificial intelligence bot, which will soon be integrated into ChatGPT and free for anyone to use with a phone or computer, signals a “more human” approach to AI that doesn’t just sound like a person but also experiences the world around it in a similar way.

GPT-4o (the “o” stands for “omni”) can see, hear and speak like a human, only with cameras for eyes, microphones for ears and speakers for a mouth.

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