OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has the voice assistant Apple CEO Tim Cook wishes he had.

OpenAI just showed off ChatGPT-4o, which includes a lifelike voice assistant.It can speak with emotion and speak conversationally. Meanwhile, Apple’s Siri is far less capable at complex tasks.

After OpenAI unveiled its latest ChatGPT iteration, one tech executive is probably super jealous: Apple’s Tim Cook.

ChatGPT-4o, as they’re calling it, speaks in a conversational way with lots of emotion — and you don’t need to use “wake words” or precise commands like “Hey Siri!” as you do with Apple’s assistant.

Another leap forward for the buzzy ChatGPT comes as Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are stuck in neutral.

On Monday, Open AI Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati showed off ChatGPT-4o’s new voice mode, which is a voice chat assistant.

It’s supposed to be able to have a natural back-and-forth conversation with you. (Though, OK, to be fair, the only part of ChatGPT-4o we’ve actually seen has been in a highly controlled public demo, so we’ll see what it’s actually like IRL.)

The comparisons to the female voice assistant from the movie “Her” were so obvious even OpenAI CEO Sam Altman tweeted about it.

The voice chat assistant has a female voice (unclear if there are options to change this) and is capable of speaking with emotion — it can feign excitement, friendliness, or even sarcasm.

Meanwhile, Apple executives must be seething with jealousy. Last week, The New York Times reported that after testing out ChatGPT last year, top Apple executives ordered a massive revamp of Apple’s Siri.

Siri has been around for over a decade, and while it’s helpful for many tasks, it’s also extremely limited. You must say “Hey, Siri” to wake it up, and it can’t really handle naturally flowing conversations. If you’ve ever used Siri, you know how often it can’t understand you or can’t really complete a command.

Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, has a similar problem. I use Alexa in my home for things like the weather or playing music. But when I started playing around with generative AI chatbots, I couldn’t help but notice how stupid Alexa feels in comparison — incapable of doing straightforward things like playing a specific album on Spotify instead of just an artist playlist.

OpenAI clearly has made a voice assistant chatbot that is way more advanced than Siri currently is, and Tim Cook must be sweating a little.

But Apple still has a big advantage whenever it updates Siri with an AI makeover: It’s already the voice assistant on your iPhone — and that’s huge.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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