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Microsoft Dev Turns ChatGPT Into Natural Sounding Voice Assistant

ChatGPT 3.5 can now speak and listen thanks to a new chatbot called Dave, which was created using Microsoft Azure cloud services.

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A developer has created a new chatbot known as DAVE that taps into ChatGPT and allows the AI to have a spoken word conversation. The new AI is able to listen to what the user says and then respond in a natural voice by using .

DAVE is the creation of Jason Shave, a Senior Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft who has worked in the Azure and Skype divisions in the past. Shave has his own small YouTube channel (@IntelligentCommunications) that focuses on call automation and other AI models.

While DAVE is just the latest bot Shave has built, it could become the most significant. By tapping into services and using very little code, Shave was able to create a chatbot that integrates directly with ChatGPT.

Specifically, he leveraged Azure Communication Services Call Automation, Azure Cognitive Services, and Azure's Open AI platform to give Chat GPT a voice and ears. This means OpenAI's project can now have a direct conversation using natural language processing with a user.

This development may seem small, but it has potentially huge implications for the future of AI, and even how we interact with our technology.

ChatGPT: An AI Poster Bot with Limitations

OpenAI's ChatGPT natural language processing AI has brought artificial intelligence into the mainstream spotlight. It shows a seed of what AI will become in the future, but ChatGPT is just the start. Certainly, it has significant limitations in its current form. However, third-party developers are taking the AI and building on top of it to add more functionality.

For example, the AI has been found wanting in terms of accuracy. ChatGPT sometimes surfaces responses that seem accurate but are actually incorrect. This led to Stack Overflow temporarily banning the AI, while the New York City education department says it cannot be used in schools in the city.

There are other less problematic limitations. Chief among them is that in its current form, ChatGPT 3.5 has a timeline that runs until 2021. This essentially means it cannot offer any responses regarding events that occur after its timeline.

Evolution: Developers Expand ChatGPT

While those limitations suggest there are severe restrictions in companies using ChatGPT, that is not the case. We have seen how Microsoft has thrown itself completely into the ChatGPT hype. The company is integrating AI into services such as Bing, Office, and potentially Windows 12. This is part of the companies wider plans to go all in on AI through its multi-billion-dollar partnership with AI.

Then there are companies such as , which has recently launched its own Bard AI that promises more accuracy and newer timelines.

Google Bard is a chatbot that rivals ChatGPT

So, why are developers able to work with ChatGPT despite the limitations? Well, by creating other tools or AI to work alongside it. ChatGPT is not open source, but it does play nicely with other AI.

I yesterday reported on DAN, an AI built by Reddit users that extends the ChatGPT timeline while also allowing it to respond with restricted content (sexual, violence, and more). DAN, and indeed Shave's DAVE, are just the start of what is possible with ChatGPT. Of the two, DAVE is clearly the most engaging and interesting.

Future: Does DAVE Point to a New AI Era?

As mentioned, ChatGPT has pushed AI into the public consciousness, whereas before it was restricted to the confines of the tech enthused. When many casual observers think of AI, they likely see an autonomous machine or software that can engage in conversation with its human overlords (or underlings, depending on your view of AI and its potential impact).

However, we have been unable to live out that image in reality. The closest we get in terms of mainstream AI is services such as Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, and Apple's Siri. These are AI voice assistants that can provide voice feedback to users when they ask questions. Most users are familiar with these services because they are baked into their smartphones and/or smart speakers.

Smart speakers using AI such as Amazon Alexa have limitations

Alexa and other types of voice assistants are great, but they are limited. Certainly, they are not the sort of AI that can engage in one-on-one conversation.

ChatGPT is different. It is a natural language processing AI, which means it can deliver responses that seem natural, or like a human. Add a chatbot like DAVE, which is capable of delivering speech and listening, then you have something much close to the sci-fi AI many of us imagine.

Talking AI: The Implications

Let's be clear, DAVE is just the start. It is able to listen to the user question and provide a response in a natural voice using ChatGPT. It is also worth noting this is a quick creation that Shave says was low code. It is an experiment. Maybe it will not be DAVE that will make the breakthrough, but the bot shows what is coming.

It is obvious that ChatGPT or similar natural language processing AI when paired with a chatbot could transform voice assistants. How we interact with our smartphones and speakers could change forever. In the video, Shave is able to engage in what appears to be a proper conversation with his ChatGPT-powered chatbot.

Of course, with AI also comes a sense of danger. It is an unknown and undoubtedly combined with powerful natural language processing AI could be misused. It doesn't take much thinking to see how such a technology could be used for caller fraud. It could also one day put millions out of a job by effectively replacing them.

The results are staggering for a first attempt. Shave says that the project will come to GitHub soon that will allow people to try the system for themselves.

Microsoft Banking Big on AI

Microsoft is positioning itself to be a major player in the mainstreaming of AI. Not only has the company committed to making AI a fundamental component of all its services, but Microsoft's cloud products are also making it easy for developers to create their own AI services.

Shave's chatbot for ChatGPT is evidence of this. He was able to easily build a functioning and accurate chatbot using the following Microsoft cloud services:

  • Azure Communication Services Call Automation: This service allows customers to automate call center operations. It has tools such as speech recognition, call routing, and IVR to offer seamless responses. It also taps into Azure Cognitive Services to provide language understanding, analysis of sentiments, and more.
  • Azure Cognitive Services: Azure Cognitive Services is a platform that allows developers to tap into APIs and add them to apps leverage speech, search, and other AI tools. It provides a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) services to help developers built intelligent features into their apps and services.
  • Azure's OpenAI Platform: Azure OpenAI has been in preview since it was first announced at Ignite 2021. It is available as an Azure Cognitive Service, adding, OpenAI GPT-3 security, , reliability, models, and other enterprise abilities. Microsoft last month brought Azure OpenAI to general availability and revealed a ChatGPT integration is coming soon.

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.