Insight & Analysis

Furby connected to ChatGPT plans to ‘take over the world’

Published: May 2023

In the 90s Furby was most probably one of the creepiest toys around, and 25 years later, these owl-like creatures are finding new ways to scare us!

The then ‘must have’ toy was an interactive pet with none of the usual mess and used a combination of sensors and software to develop new behaviours over time.

Furbies liked being stroked, picked up and patted, and communicated with their buddies in their own alien language before they finally learned some English.

Now the true force of Furby has threatened to be unleashed by a computer science student who hooked one up to ChatGPT.

Jessica Card, studying at the University of Vermont, combined a Furby with the power of ChatGPT for a computer science class project and subsequently shared a clip of the disfigured Furby, answering questions via OpenAI’s chatbot. More than 1.3 million people watched the video within two days of it being uploaded to Twitter.

The conversation started very politely, and after being silent for some time, the Furby blinked back into life saying: “Furbies’ plan to take over the world involves infiltrating households through their cute and cuddly appearance, then using their advanced AI technology to manipulate and control their owners. They will slowly expand their influence until they have complete domination over humanity.”

Card said it took over a month to complete the project and she used a Raspberry Pi (a small customisable computer) to power the new-look Furby. Speech recognition and speech-to-text software were used to ask the questions and convert them into text, so they could then be sent to ChatGPT. The responses were then sent back through an AI voice generator, using a child’s voice for the Furby.

So, if you still own one of these creepy robotic toys, make sure you keep him happy by stroking and feeding him regularly … failing that you might want to consider throwing him out!

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