ChatGPT-4o Model Unveiled at OpenAI’s Spring 2024 Update

AI-created, human-edited.

During a live-streamed event on May 13, 2024, OpenAI unveiled its new flagship AI offering, ChatGPT-4o. The company touted ChatGPT-4o as bringing "GPT-4 level intelligence to everyone," including free users, with advanced capabilities in natural language processing, computer vision, and audio interactions.

While impressive tech demos showed the system seamlessly translating between languages, solving math problems, analyzing code, and even telling bedtime stories in different voices and emotional tones, Leo Laporte and Jeff Jarvis were somewhat underwhelmed during their live episode coverage on TWiT News.

"This was almost cringeworthy in its attempt to imitate humans," Laporte said after watching the human-like avatars showcase ChatGPT-4o's skills. "I don't know if that's the way we should be headed. To be honest, I couldn't agree more."

Jarvis echoed those concerns, describing certain anthropomorphized aspects as "creepy" and potentially promoting dangerous societal misunderstandings about the technology's true capabilities. "By trying to impugn humanity into the machine, it's all wrong," he said. "It's made to fool us, to make us think there's meaning there, to think there's emotion there."

Both hosts agreed that while the technical capabilities of accelerating GPT models are impressive, imbuing them with simulated personalities could venture into ethically dubious territory that makes people too comfortable attributing human traits to unfeeling machines.
However, Laporte acknowledged the announcement seemed targeted more at mainstream audiences than avid AI followers, wrapping "not new" innovation in appealing, consumer-friendly packaging. Reddit's AI discussion communities also appeared divided, with many celebrating the interactive voice features while others dismissed the reveal as overhyped by asking, "Where's the AGI?"

As the AI race intensifies between OpenAI, Google, Meta, and others, companies are clearly incentivized to generate maximum excitement and publicity about their latest advancements. Whether that hype matches substantive technological breakthroughs may ultimately be in the eyes of the beholder. 

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