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Users of ChatGPT will soon be talking to the bot and sending it pictures.

“We are beginning to roll out new voice and image capabilities in ChatGPT,” parent company OpenAI announced on September 25, promising “a new, more intuitive type of interface” that would allow the user “to have a voice conversation or show ChatGPT what you’re talking about.”

The voice option –  which going by OpenAI’s depiction could be along the lines of Apple’s veteran Siri – will allow subscribers “engage in a back-and-forth conversation with your assistant.”

“Speak with it on the go, request a bedtime story for your family, or settle a dinner table debate,” said the artificial intelligence or large language model (LLM) company.

The audio-visual AI assistance is to be offered over the coming weeks to Plus and Enterprise fee-paying subscribers to ChatGPT, with OpenAI saying they will be able to “snap a picture of a landmark while traveling and have a live conversation about what’s interesting about it.”

“After dinner, help your child with a math [sic] problem by taking a photo, circling the problem set, and having it share hints with both of you,” the fast-growing tech company said.

OpenAI’s statement came after internet and tech giants such as Alphabet/Google, Meta/Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon have sought to catch up in the race to offer so-called generative AI tools for general use, with all making several high-profile announcements in recent weeks about new and planned offerings, including a Google product that industry experts believe could prove vastly more powerful than ChatGPT.

There are already AI “friend” chatbots available, with some industry analysts speculating that these would become ubiquitous in a few years. However other research has found that people who use LLM AI bots at work can end up lonely and have trouble sleeping,.

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