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OpenAI’s Voice Mode Delayed: The Details and What's Next

June 26, 2024
OpenAI recently announced a delay in the release of its highly anticipated advanced Voice Mode for ChatGPT. Initially expected to roll out in May, the feature has faced setbacks, pushing its launch further down the line. Here's what you need to know about this delay and what it means for ChatGPT users.
  • Introduction to the delay of ChatGPT's Voice Mode.
  • Reasons for the delay and improvements being made.
  • Expected timeline for the rollout.
  • Impact on other features such as video and screen sharing.
  • Controversy surrounding the "Sky" voice.
  • Final thoughts on OpenAI’s approach to innovation.

Delayed Launch: What Happened?

In May, OpenAI showcased an advanced Voice Mode for ChatGPT that promised real-time, natural conversations with the AI. The feature was set to be available to paying users within weeks. However, months later, OpenAI announced that it needs more time to refine the feature.

On OpenAI’s official Discord server, the company shared that the alpha rollout, initially planned for late June, is now pushed to July due to ongoing improvements. “We’re improving the model’s ability to detect and refuse certain content,” OpenAI stated. Enhancing user experience and preparing infrastructure for scaling are also key areas of focus.

Reasons Behind the Delay

OpenAI is working to ensure that the Voice Mode meets high standards of safety and reliability. They are taking an iterative approach to deployment, starting with a small group of users to gather feedback before a broader release. This cautious strategy is aimed at refining the feature based on real-world usage and addressing any issues that arise.

The advanced Voice Mode’s full rollout might not happen until fall, depending on the outcomes of internal checks. Despite this delay, other new features, like video and screen sharing capabilities, are still on track for release. These features will allow ChatGPT to solve math problems from photos and explain device settings menus, and are designed to work across various platforms, including the recently released macOS app.

The Controversy Over the "Sky" Voice

The introduction of ChatGPT’s Voice Mode wasn’t without controversy. The default “Sky” voice drew criticism for its striking resemblance to actress Scarlett Johansson’s voice. Johansson’s legal team has been involved, and she stated that she never agreed to license her voice for ChatGPT. OpenAI has since removed the voice, denying any unauthorized use or the creation of a soundalike.

Looking Ahead

OpenAI remains committed to delivering innovative features thoughtfully. Their mission to enhance AI interactions with real-time, natural conversations continues, even as they navigate the complexities of rolling out advanced technologies. As these new features gradually become available, users can expect a more immersive and interactive experience with ChatGPT.

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