Now, the voice mode feature in ChatGPT is accessible to regular users like you and me. Initially launched in September, this capability was exclusively available to Plus and Enterprise users until yesterday.
This voice feature is currently limited to mobile devices, catering to both Android and iOS users. In a recent demonstration, the chatbot exhibited a brief response time, comparable to its typical text-based interactions.
OpenAI officially expanded this voice feature amidst the company’s internal upheaval following CEO Sam Altman’s abrupt departure on Friday. Interestingly, Altman’s reinstatement was announced shortly after the launch of the voice feature.
Here’s how the voice mode operates: Upon opening ChatGPT, users will notice a headphone icon at the bottom right of the screen. Clicking on this icon prompts ChatGPT to ask users to select from five voice options: Juniper, Ember, Breeze, Cove, and Sky, representing a range from feminine to masculine voices. This choice can be adjusted later.
Once a voice is selected, a gray circle appears in the middle, turning white when the chatbot is actively listening to the user. As ChatGPT formulates its response, the circle transforms into a dynamic, cloud-like image.
During the conversation, the voice assistant, such as Sky with her raspy voice, mimics human-like pauses when responding to queries. For instance, Sky might say, “I’m here if you want to chat. What’s on your mind?” creating a more conversational and human-like interaction.
Despite its conversational nature, some users found the persistent prompts for assistance unsettling, with the voice feature continuing to ask if it could help even when the user remained silent for several minutes. Additionally, the voice function lacks an automatic shutdown feature for the app.
Users do have the flexibility to exit the app while keeping it active in the background, which proves beneficial for multitasking scenarios, such as reading an article while simultaneously seeking additional information.
In summary, the voice mode in ChatGPT offers a more human-like and conversational alternative to text-based chatting, bringing a new dimension to user interactions with the chatbot.