OpenAI, the company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT, has announced new features that allow users to engage in voice conversations with the AI and use image recognition capabilities. This update brings ChatGPT closer to voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.

Users can now have back-and-forth voice conversations with ChatGPT, making it possible to request bedtime stories or settle debates through verbal interactions. OpenAI showcased this feature in a demo where ChatGPT narrated a story and responded to questions with a human-like voice. The AI’s voice capability is powered by a text-to-speech model designed to generate natural-sounding audio from text inputs.

OpenAI collaborated with professional voice actors to create five different voices for ChatGPT. This development expands the use cases for ChatGPT, allowing it to provide spoken responses to a wide range of queries and requests.

In addition to voice conversations, OpenAI is introducing image recognition features. Users can now prompt ChatGPT with images and ask questions or request tasks based on the visual content. For example, users can take a picture of their refrigerator’s contents and ask ChatGPT to suggest meal plans using the available ingredients. OpenAI has also incorporated a drawing tool within the app, enabling users to focus on specific parts of an image.

These new features will be available to paying subscribers of ChatGPT’s Plus and Enterprise services within the next two weeks. The Plus subscription is priced at $20 per month, while the Enterprise service is currently offered to business clients.

OpenAI’s latest updates come in the midst of an AI arms race in the tech industry, with major companies enhancing their AI-powered offerings. This move follows the public launch of ChatGPT and aims to keep the platform competitive by integrating voice and image capabilities, expanding its potential applications.