OpenAI's CEO merry-go-round tosses out voice feature for ChatGPT

Unsurprisingly, the app doesn't know what's going on at the company either

Despite the revolving door of CEOs at OpenAI, the company has found time to update ChatGPT with a freebie voice feature.

Co-founder Greg Brockman said last night that the update "totally changes the ChatGPT experience."

Users can now talk to ChatGPT and get an audible response. Tap the headphones icon in the phone app and start chatting. Eventually, a response in one of five gratingly perky accents will be issued.

The feature is not new – paying customers have had access since September, but OpenAI had promised to make the service available to all.

You're hired

Sam Altman set to rejoin OpenAI as CEO with Microsoft's blessing


In September, OpenAI said it had "taken technical measures to significantly limit ChatGPT's ability to analyze and make direct statements about people." Naturally, and always keen for a scoop, The Register asked it who the CEO of OpenAI would be tomorrow. The app paused before saying: "I can't predict future events or leadership changes."

Of course it can't. But what about Emmett Shear? Wasn't he going to be interim CEO as of a few days ago? The app sounded uncertain, saying: "I believe Emmett Shear is associated with Twitch."

Technically true, we suppose. But what of leadership?

"As of my last update in January 2022, Sam Altman is the OpenAI CEO."


When originally launched, the service could only transcribe English using the Whisper speech recognition module. We tried a variety of poorly impersonated UK regional accents, and it seemed to make a pretty good fist of understanding them – your mileage may vary considerably. It certainly seems an improvement over the likes of Alexa and Siri.

It's undoubtedly a fun toy, but since it can't do much more than answer questions – and occasionally give some distinctly dubious responses – it isn't much more than an impressive tech demo.

Still, at least the announcement gave OpenAI staff a chance to let off some steam. In the announcement for the new functionality, a speaker told the app: "It's been a long night for the team, and we're hungry. How many 16-inch pizzas should I order for 778 people?"

We'd put a hold on that order for a few more days. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like