How the A.I. That Drives ChatGPT Will Move Into the Physical World – The New York Times

Artificial Intelligence

Covariant, a robotics start-up, is designing technology that lets robots learn skills much like chatbots do.
By combining camera and sensory data with the enormous amounts of text used to train chatbots like ChatGPT, Covariant has built A.I. technology that gives its robots a much broader understanding of the world around it.Credit…
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Cade Metz spent two days at Covariant’s headquarters in Emeryville, Calif., to report this article.
Companies like OpenAI and Midjourney build chatbots, image generators and other artificial intelligence tools that operate in the digital world.
Now, a start-up founded by three former OpenAI researchers is using the technology development methods behind chatbots to build A.I. technology that can navigate the physical world.
Covariant, a robotics company headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., is creating ways for robots to pick up, move and sort items as they are shuttled through warehouses and distribution centers. Its goal is to help robots gain an understanding of what is going on around them and decide what they should do next.
The technology also gives robots a broad understanding of the English language, letting people chat with them as if they were chatting with ChatGPT.
The technology, still under development, is not perfect. But it is a clear sign that the artificial intelligence systems that drive online chatbots and image generators will also power machines in warehouses, on roadways and in homes.
Like chatbots and image generators, this robotics technology learns its skills by analyzing enormous amounts of digital data. That means engineers can improve the technology by feeding it more and more data.
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