Engineers added ChatGPT to a robot dog and now it can talk

Spot the robot dog moves around a fallen bin.
(Image credit: Boston Dynamics)

It feels like a whole new world of AI is being birthed right before our eyes—perhaps prematurely, kicking and screaming as it arrives. While there are glimmers of potential in things like AI-driven NPCs, there's also a lot of nappy filler like Square Enix's AI tech preview on Steam. And while some countries are scrambling to set regulations for this new technology, others are adding it to robot dogs, and it's actually pretty cute.

Spot is the famed dog robot from Boston Dynamics. We've seen Spot take care of important tasks like protecting Pompei and dancing to rock and roll. It's not the first time AI has been integrated into one of these little pups, but now thanks to the addition of ChatGPT and Google text-to-speech the little guys can talk.

A machine learning engineer named Santiago posted a video of a modified spot to Twitter, showing some of the journey to integrating these new systems. You can see the engineers adding specific terms to Spot's dictionary to get relevant information out of it, so it's not just as simple as installing ChatGPT and hitting go.

The team can also be seen programming in yes and no gestures. While the Google default voice leaves a lot to be desired here, the little yes and no wiggles are a bit too cute for a robot that can and will definitely kill me one day.

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While looking like a cute gimmick, this addition actually has some useful implementations for Spot as is further explained in Santiago's thread. These robots are sent out on daily missions collecting lots of data that can be difficult to turn into straight information. Integrating ChatGPT lets the team ask the robot direct questions for these pre-programmed commands and it can find the answers for them, in real time.

This looks like a great example of exactly the kind of work these AI tools should be doing. Crunching data is a task that can take a well-trained human a lot of time, as well as just being draining and kinda boring leading to potential misses.

An AI will happily sort through this kind of information in a fraction of the time, presenting what their human counterparts need to continue forward with the task. I want to see more of AI being used in cool smart ways like this, and less of it stealing the hard work of artists.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.