Language models may well revolutionize voice assistants. For several years, the latter have not really been considered intelligent: very often, they have no answers to our questions. Which is much less the case than language models, such as ChatGPT, Bing Chat or Google Bard. That’s why an AI expert named Justin Alvey managed to replace Google Assistant in his Nest Mini smart speaker with GPT-3.5, as he told it on Twitter.
The Nest Mini hasn’t really been ” hacked “, but completely modified
Justin Alvey says he first thought of jailbreak his Google speaker, like an iPhone, to use the system of his choice. Very quickly, he turned to the complete replacement of the circuit board. According to him, this makes it possible to use a two-dollar Wi-Fi chip that is quite powerful and easy to configure.
The idea is to offload the voice detection and the use of the language model to a computer at home, since some computing power is required for this. This electronics enthusiast also managed to configure the LEDs and touch buttons in order to use them, using a small Arduino board.
Google Assistant is basically ChatGPT and text-to-speech
For text generation, Justin Alvey chose GPT-3.5 and its API, mainly for its responsiveness. As for the interaction between OpenAI’s servers and his computer, he uses the API. He also managed to connect Beeper, a messaging service to link all his instant messaging apps. In the custom query he formulates each time to condition the AI, he added details, “ such as family and friends, today’s date, notification preferences, and a list of additional character voices that GPT can use to respond. »
As for voice generation, it uses the EvenLabs model. For the moment, the project has not been developed by Justin Alvey, but the latter has announced that he is working on making his project available to everyone, in open source. This will include the PCB design, build instructions, bot and server source code. Beyond simply using a Nest Mini, its system also allows you to create your own voice assistant.
What are the advantages over Google Assistant?
This voice assistant home made allows you to read your messages, among other things. Indeed, thanks to the Beeper service, you can connect all your mailboxes. This allows Justin Alvey to ask his speaker if he has received any new messages. If so, the enclosure can tell him who sent him a message and on what service, indicating the context of its content.
GPT-3.5 can even reread previous messages by searching threads and sending them. The system also allows you to manage your appointments, to write down ideas at any time, simply by voice.
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