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OpenAI may have finally cracked the code on voice interactions with AI

Dan DeFrancesco   

OpenAI may have finally cracked the code on voice interactions with AI
  • This post originally appeared in the Insider Today newsletter.

Hello! Miss Teen USA is turning into the pageant no one seems to want to win. After the initial winner resigned her position, this year's first runner-up declined to take over as queen. Here's a timeline of all the drama.

In today's big story, everyone's talking — literally — about the big update for OpenAI's ChatGPT that could make your job a lot easier.

What's on deck:

But first, let's chat.

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The big story

Putting the chat in ChatGPT

First came HAL. Then came Her. Now there is GPT-4o.

Hollywood has a history of humanlike AI talking to people. But their real-world counterparts never seemed to live up to the hype, sounding too robotic or taking too long to respond.

OpenAI may have finally cracked the code on voice interactions with AI, though. The company unveiled an upgrade for ChatGPT that includes an impressively humanlike voice feature made possible by its new flagship model, GPT-4o.

During a live presentation, OpenAI's latest product helped with breathing exercises, walked a user through a math equation, and served as a translator. OpenAI says GPT-4o's average response to audio inputs is 320 milliseconds, which is on par with a typical human-to-human conversation.

The internet was impressed, to say the least. Sharing your screen with ChatGPT while talking through problems could be a game changer for coding and data-focused work, writes Business Insider's Alex Bitter.

One developer I texted after the event raved about the potential and was excited to test it out.

Typing out class or API-specific names into questions for ChatGPT while coding was tedious, they said. The demo made it seem as if they could talk to ChatGPT like a coworker.

"They've essentially made text input almost be the barbaric form of communicating with ChatGPT (or any AI) now," the developer said.

OpenAI's big reveal shows the shockwaves the startup keeps sending through the tech world.

This time around, it's likely Apple that is feeling the heat, writes BI's Katie Notopoulos.

Before Monday's event, a report detailed how ChatGPT prompted Apple executives to realize the digital assistant Siri needed a major upgrade. Those updates, which are expected to come during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, will now undoubtedly be judged against GPT-4o.

But it's not just Apple that's been put on its back foot.

For months there has been heavy speculation that OpenAI is developing a web search product to compete with Google Search. OpenAI is even reportedly trying to snag Googlers from its search team.

In the meantime, Google I/O, the company's biggest developer event, kicks off today, and AI will surely be at the forefront.

Even those deeply invested in OpenAI's success are getting competitive with the red-hot startup.

Microsoft, which has poured $10 billion into OpenAI, is reportedly building its own AI model in an effort to show the tech giant doesn't plan to just ride OpenAI's coattails during the AI wars.

3 things in markets

  1. The dollar can't be dethroned. That's according to Morgan Stanley strategists, who outlined three reasons the greenback will maintain its status as the world's dominant currency on a podcast last week. "Bottom line, King dollar doesn't really have any challengers," Michael Zezas, the bank's head of US public policy research, said.
  2. Roaring Kitty's back, and meme stocks are loving it. Keith Gill, a key figure in the GameStop short squeeze of 2021, posted on X for the first time in nearly three years. Naturally, r/wallstreetbets took it in stride, and by that, I mean shares of GameStop surged as much as 118%.
  3. A top economist predicts the US's debt-fueled growth will catch up to it in 2025. Apollo's Torsten Slok said the economy will be alright for a few more quarters, but next year will be a different story. Consumers and businesses are carrying too much debt, and a hard landing is coming, he said.

3 things in tech

  1. Apple desperately needs its Next Big Thing. Under Tim Cook's tenure, there have been no earth-shattering product launches — which is exactly what Apple needs right now. With iPhone sales slowing and revenue falling, it's time for the company to reclaim its innovative edge.
  2. Mayhem at Tesla continues. The company rescinded job offers for incoming full-time employees. The move is part of broader cuts at Tesla, which have spanned the past several weeks and aim to eliminate over 10% of its workforce.
  3. Happy birthday, Zuck. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg turns 40 today. Over the past 10 years, the world's fourth-richest man's wealth has surged — and he's used his ballooning personal fortune to build up a $200 million real estate portfolio and buy himself a megayacht.

3 things in business

  1. Melinda French Gates steps down. In a statement on X, French Gates announced she'd resigned as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She'll have "an additional $12.5 billion to commit to my work on behalf of women and families," she said, thanks to an arrangement with her ex-husband, Bill Gates.
  2. Tips for success, according to Walmart's CEO. Speaking at the University of Arkansas' commencement ceremony, CEO Doug McMillon shared three pieces of advice: Be present, choose a career that doesn't feel like work, and assume positive intent from others.
  3. It's not all plain sailing for child-free adults. DINKs (dual-income couples with no children) are known for having disposable income and spending their paychecks on major investments, luxury vacations, and early retirement. But a growing number of child-free adults are living paycheck to paycheck because it's harder for them to access tax credits and government assistance.

What's happening today

  • Today's earnings: Alibaba, Home Depot, Sony, and other companies are reporting.
  • Disney is hosting its upfront presentation, unveiling its 2024-25 program lineups.
  • Google's Input/Output annual developer conference is today.
  • Google's new Pixel 8a smartphone is available to buy.
  • Cannes Film Festival kicks off today.

The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, senior editor, in London. George Glover, reporter, in London.

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