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Microsoft and GM deal means your next car might talk, lie, gaslight and manipulate you

'ChatGPT is going to be in everything' says automaker

Thanks to a partnership struck with Microsoft in 2021 on the commercialization of self-driving vehicles, General Motors is working to bring a "ChatGPT-like" voice assistant to its cars.

Considering the some of the dark and twisted behavior displayed by the OpenAI technology during tests of its upcoming Bing search engine integration, we have to assume it has no part to play in the "self-driving" portion of GM's plans – otherwise we fear passengers could find themselves "self-driven" off a cliff.

Still, details are scant for now. GM's vice president of software defined vehicle and operating system, Scott Miller, let slip to news site Semafor "that the company is developing an AI assistant" claimed to "push things beyond the simple voice commands available in today's cars."

In a couple of examples of how it could be used, it was said that a driver could ask the system how to change a flat tire, and receive voice instructions as well as a visual guide on the vehicle's interior display. Or, if a diagnostic light pinged on the dashboard, the driver could ask the assistant whether it needed immediate attention.

It was suggested that the system could then book in a service at an appropriate mechanic, which faintly echoes patents from Ford for a car that drives itself away if you don't keep up with payments among other use cases.

GM likely can't believe its luck to have the tech trend du jour hovering dangerously close to its vehicles, having entered a "preferred cloud" deal with Microsoft Azure in 2021. Microsoft has since poured billions into OpenAI, the company that developed the GPT-branded large language models, paving the way to collaboration between the two.

Redmond has wasted no time spraying the buzzword all over its software and cloud computing portfolio – including Bing, Teams, and Windows 11 – hence why it is popping up in GM now. The automaker is said to be working on "adding another, more car-specific layer on top of the OpenAI models," but Miller wouldn't be drawn on details about which GM would be using nor whether if it had a name (though Semafor suggested ChatGMC, in reference to GM's truck brand).

Somewhat alarmingly, however, Miller told Reuters: "ChatGPT is going to be in everything."

A spokesperson added: "This shift is not just about one single capability like the evolution of voice commands, but instead means that customers can expect their future vehicles to be far more capable and fresh overall when it comes to emerging technologies."

The most immediate parallel is probably Knight Rider, the '80s TV series starring David Hasselhoff as a crime-fighting billionaire with a talking supercar, KITT. We all thought that was cool at the time, but now AI (or an approximation of it) is increasingly becoming a tangible field, the novelty is wearing off.

Let us hope that the deranged tendencies of OpenAI's tech have been tamed before GM puts it anywhere near its vehicles. ®

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